Friday, 29 July 2011

My time at Carswell Gould – Week One

When people ask me what degree I am doing I always reply “Media Communications - it’s like a cross between advertising and journalism” and they often reply “oh right” with no idea what I am talking about. So when presented with the task of finding work experience I sat down and researched, asked friends, family but I was stumped. I was really interested in media communications but no one outside the industry seem to know what this really was. But with the recommendation from my tutor, the perfect place was right under my nose the whole time – Carswell Gould. 
Located in the centre of Southampton it is just minutes away from my university (Southampton Solent). It was the placement I was looking for! As a marketing communications agency, Carswell Gould encapsulates what I am trying to describe what my course is about, and so much more.
So now I have completed my first week in the office, I am excited to report back my first impressions!
Week One:
The beautifully decorated office houses a very friendly team. Warm smiles and handshakes greeted me on my first day and I was thrilled to hear everyone already knew my name (even if it has taken me a lot longer to remember all of theirs!) I couldn’t have been made to feel more welcome.

Top row : Graham, Laura, Gill, Ed and Scamp.
Bottom row: Tom, Lisa and Rob.

The Monday meeting left me with pages of notes about my tasks for the week and a real enthusiasm to get started. I have been given some really exciting tasks both to support the team’s work for clients, and generally help out around the office. Making tea and coffee is a very important job but much to my surprise is the smallest part of my temporary role in the office.  
One of my first tasks was to draft a comparative analysis of the social media used by competitors, and suggest ways Carswell Gould can enhance its social media presence. I jumped into the research and the task was soon upgraded from a report to a presentation for the following week’s Monday meeting. After a quick chat with Ed about my progress, he really helped me focus my research and gave me some good tips for increasing the value of the research I was doing.
But listening in on Gill, Lisa and Laura’s PR meeting on Wednesday morning has been my favorite time so far in the office. I learnt a lot about press releases, selling in stories (which means persuading a publication to run a story and nothing about money exchanged), press parties, mailing lists (and cleansing them) and loads more. I wish now I had made more notes, but really looking forward to the opportunity of learning more about PR.
I am really looking forward to next week now, and am so pleased that I have got this opportunity to pick the brains of experts in the marketing comms industry.
Look out for next week’s update to see how I am getting on!
Thanks for reading,
Love Rie / Marie Malyon xx