I thought I'd show off a few of my favourite PR professionals and the tips and advice they can offer students and anyone looking to get into the industry. I'm aiming to keep it to graduates and undergraduates from Bournemouth University... at least to begin with anyway. So starting off the series, Louise Ellis, a former colleague.
Louise Ellis, currently a PR Account Director at Merchant Marketing Group graduated from BAPR at Bournemouth University in 2005. Since graduating, she has always worked in agencies covering clients in sectors including food and drink, travel, healthcare and beauty.
Expertise: Consumer PR
As that’s what I enjoy the most and so it’s where I have focused my energies. I have been lucky enough to work at an agency which took the decision to go completely digital and so I was exposed to a lot of social media activity and campaigns. That experience has set me in good stead with other roles as it’s a key area in the communications industry now.
I did a communication studies A-level which I loved and a teacher suggested PR would suit me as I liked communications so I looked into it.
Because at the time it was the best PR degree available and it had a placement year.
Where did you complete your placement?
Pure PR, London 5 out of 5.
A small boutique beauty and lifestyle agency. It was advertised through the university, I was the first placement student they’d ever had which was great because it meant I could make the role into whatever I wanted it to be. I had a fantastic time and gained brilliant experience, I was fully hands on and gained more know-how than I could have wished for.
I recommend small organisations to any student looking for a placement because you will get to do more and be involved in more.
What do you like best about your current role?
No day is the same, so many clients with so many campaigns - it’s constantly changing.
How is healthcare PR different to other sectors?
Very interesting, very educational - you need to be interested in picking up some clinical knowledge as that makes it a lot easier.
Where do you see yourself and your career in five years?
I am now at a healthcare agency and I like this sector, it’s interesting and ever changing. I would eventually like to try an in-house role.
What’s your favourite campaign?
On my placement I was involved in the launch of beauty range Burt’s Bees on to the UK market. We held a press launch with the founder of the range over from America, she made some of the products on the day from the raw ingredients in front of the journalists and made them eat them to prove how natural they were! It was brilliant!
Advice for students:
So why did Lou make it on to my featured people list? Only in her 20's and she is already an Account Director, planning a wedding and has a refreshing take on PR. Not to mention, she knows her stuff.