"Nothing was ever achieved without enthusiasm"

Fleurie Forbes-Martin, a placement year student from Bournemouth University is currently working at Pegasus PR in Worthing.

Starting my work experience in PR at a nice little company in Camden called Mercieca, it was fairly limited but they have some really big clients including Coca-Cola, Black & Decker & Puma. For my official university placement however, I stumbled across a gem on my very doorstep! Pegasus is about a 5 minute walk from the beach and working here has been a real eye-opener for me.

How did you get into PR at Bournemouth University?
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I finished college but I did really well in communication studies and my tutor recommended I look into PR; ‘It’ll really suit you’ she said, so off I went! She also recommended Bournemouth as one of the best Universities in the country for all things media. It was far enough away that I could say ‘see ya!’ to my parents but close enough that I could still get my washing done at the weekend! I’d never been to Bournemouth before I came to the university and I was a little concerned that it might be a bit of a graveyard but boy was I wrong! Freshers was the most crazy time of my life and a brilliant party! I’ve made a great bunch of friends and the university has some brilliant resources. I worked in the student club The Old Fire Station and absolutely loved it. Everyone has a good time at work and the socials are pretty mental- needless to say there’s never a boring moment in a bar run by students!

What is your favourite module?
My favorite Module at Bournemouth was in first year entitled Writing for PR. It was all about setting different styles of writing for different audiences and helping you to structure a good press release, when to get really creative and when to tone it down in order to grab the attention of journalists. It’s been an invaluable lesson as far as my work experience is concerned - I’ve had numerous complements on my writing ability and it’s still one of my favorite parts of the job.

So you’re currently on placement with Pegasus, how are you finding it?  
Where do I start? Since I’ve started here (August 2011) the agency has grown from 30 something to 40 something and is still growing! It’s a real mix of creative, scientific and digital minds that come together to create some seriously impressive work for their amazing client list. From my first day, everyone was extremely friendly and helpful and the more time I’ve spent here, the more I’ve fallen in love with the place. The type of work I’ve experienced in my 40 weeks here has been vast and various- working across different teams and departments to get my teeth into a range of PR. I’ve had enough time of each experience to find out what I really enjoy and the things that I find difficult in order to help me work them out. As a student, one of the most beneficial things has been the help and support they provide; ensuring I know what I’m doing and that I can cope with the workload. If I’m struggling they’ll help me to organise myself and they’ve taught me a hell of a lot about time management!

The thing about Pegasus that most stands out for me I think is their true dedication to working enrichment. It’s the old saying of the stick or the carrot; I’ve had a lot of jobs before this one and I’ve never experienced such rich reward for my work. If you’re doing a good job, there’s always something going on to let you know that they know about it. They spoil us whenever they have the chance and it’s always the little things that make the difference (chocolate eggs at Easter, Tiffany’s (seriously!) for Christmas and Bacon Butties to kick off the rugby! You name it - they’ve thought of it.

I could go on but for fear of sounding like I’m an advert I’ll stop there. They’re a brilliant bunch of people headed by the beautiful and intelligent MD Lisa Bradley (Yes ladies!) I would recommend this placement to everyone I know and I hope to be back with them again soon!
Absolutely 5 out of 5.

How are you finding Beauty PR so far?
Beauty PR is a brilliant place to start if you’re a bit of a girly girl. I’ve done a little bit of everything here at Pegasus and I’ve fallen head of heels in love with it. If I’m honest I really didn’t know the first thing about beauty or beauty people until I started to work in it. It’s a real indulgence industry and I think that’s why I enjoy it so much, it’s all about looking good and we can all relate to that on some level! After I started to help with the PR for our natural beauty products I got the feel for beauty bloggers especially. If you haven’t noticed, some of the stuff that’s written online gets more attention that it does in the magazines and papers which make it a valuable resource for PR.

One of our modules at uni asked us to set up our own blog which I’ve continued to use this year. It’s a lifestyle blog that I use to chat about nice things ‘From eye lining to fine dining’ and has opened doors to other bloggers as they see me as a blogger not just a PR which is really helpful.

So far you’ve worked mainly agency side, would you like to go in-house at all?
I’m not sure if it would quench my thirst for variety to be honest. Unless it was for a creative company that I knew would keep it fresh like @InnocentDrinks or @Google – (wishful thinking!)- I like to do a bit of everything and honestly I think I’d end up pulling my hair out after a while.

Top Tips
  • When you’re hunting for placement don’t settle for what you can get easily. You might be competing with a thousand other students and want to get something sorted toot suite but falling into a sector (Beauty/ Technology/ Consumer/ Trade) that doesn’t suit you or people that don’t suite you can be the difference between a valuable life lesson and a tragedy. Take some time to look around and ask yourself what you enjoy before you head into a job.
  • When you’re at the interview they’ll be grilling you to see what your worth but don’t forget it’s also a chance for you to check them out too. It’s a good opportunity to test the waters and find out what they’ll be able to offer you, what they expect from you and even ask about the social side of things. Asking questions isn’t rude; it shows you’ve got your head screwed on and that you’re keen to learn.
So why has Fleurie made a nice (year) end to my Best of Bournemouth entourage? As one of my best friends, I can personally tell you she is absolutely insane, but that reflects in her bubbly personality and her creativity which makes her PR portfiolio a one-off. She is one of the few in my year that genuinely and absolutely loves everything about her placement and has achieved the absolute max from it. You can follow her on Twitter @FleurieFM and www.fleuriefm.wordpress.com

Jessica North

Author & Editor

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