10 things I learnt doing work experience with Target

I am in my second year of a public relations course at Birmingham City University, and was delighted when Target agreed to take me on for a week of hands-on experience with them. Throughout the week I have gained invaluable knowledge about the workings of a PR agency, and have been able to get stuck in with tasks that have allowed me to put the theory I have learnt at university into practice. Here are just 10 of the things I have learnt this week:


  1. The key aspects to consider when creating strategic plans for clients

During my week with Target I had the opportunity to join a strategy workshop with Target and their ‘Start up business’ competition winners, Rockatek. Throughout this meeting I gained a valuable insight into the type of information it is important to gather from a client to ensure the message they want to portray is clear for the specific audiences they need to reach.


  1. How to statistically analyse outcomes of PR work

PR projects can be difficult to monitor in terms of success and we have not gone into the finer details of this at university yet. Therefore, it was eye opening to sit in on a meeting about outputs and outcomes of PR work and see the way these were presented as graphs and charts to make the information easily accessible and understandable.


  1. The importance of house style for brands

When creating press content for brands it is important to stick to the house style they have developed, as this creates consistency across their work.

  1. Always ask another person to proof-read your work

No matter how much time you spend on writing a press release, or anything else, you should always get someone else to check it for you. This reduces the risk of sending any work with errors off to be published.


  1. Posting useful industry news on social media keeps audiences engaged

One of my responsibilities while working with Target has been to keep an eye out for recent industry news to post on social media. This provision of useful information helps prompt online audiences to engage more with posts.


  1. How to use different social platforms for different types of information

There are a range of social media platforms, all of which have their own pros and cons, and while at Target I have learnt that it is useful to use different platforms for different forms of information.


  1. Keeping an up-to-date and relevant blog is important

Target have their own blog on their website where they regularly post content that is either relevant to the company’s progress or relevant to the industry in general. This engagement with the industry and publication of more in-depth happenings of the company builds a rapport with readers.


  1. You can never have too many schedules, plans, lists, charts, tables, graphs etc.

I share the enthusiasm the team at Target has for organising meetings, results, content plans and so on in a clear and structured way. The use of visual plans plays a vital role in keeping things organised. I am very happy to see that my love for organising things will come in handy when working in the PR profession.


  1. Tea, tea and more tea is what PR teams run on

Possibly the most used phrase in the office, ‘Does anyone else want a cuppa?’. Throughout the day, tea is consumed on a rather impressive scale here in the Target office. Rather than being made of about 60% water, PR consultants’ bodies are without a doubt made up of about 60% tea instead. This is no bad thing though; my love for tea aside, drinking tea has been linked to many possible health benefits.


  1. Having dogs in the office brightens everyone’s day

One morning in the week I walked in to find two gorgeous Boston Terriers in the office. Their names were Archie and Elvis and it was lovely to have them around for the day. It should be allowed at every workplace because who wouldn’t love being greeted by these affectionate creatures at the office each morning?


Rachel Hickey