Stepping into my Intern shoes: Week 2

Week two was cut a little short this week, thanks to the Bank Holiday, but that wasn’t the reason my week got off to a bad start. On Wednesday, my train terminated unexpectedly at Meadowhall, literally one stop from Sheffield. All passengers had to get off and traipse over to Platform 3 for the next connecting service. I was one of the lucky ones who actually managed to get on said connected service, since it was already pretty full. It was a shambles. My train got in at 8.55am, so I was a good ten minutes late for the internship. I was so mad. And pretty out of breath.

But enough of travel disasters.

On Tuesday, I continued to add to the press database for one of the upcoming cook books, focusing on finding bloggers who might be interested in doing some free coverage. I tried to look for a variety of accounts: local bloggers for the area, food bloggers, lifestyle and travel blogs. I think I managed to get a pretty good mix, but not a lot of people list their contact information on their blogs, so the only way to get in touch is to use the contact form on their website.

I also attempted to conduct the author interview over the phone that I had to reschedule from last week. In fact, I’ve been trying to contact him all week, but no luck so far. Either he doesn’t like me, or he’s even busier than we thought.

The Managing Director also asked me to write up a little music profile/review as a kind of taster of what I can do. Basically, he wanted to get a feel for my writing style to see whether this would be my kind of thing. Within the publishing company, they have a magazine imprint which is actually how the company started. It’s a free magazine. A kind of ‘what’s hot in Sheffield’ guide, and I was pretty nervous about writing something for it. I’ve never really been into music. I can practically hear jaws dropping, but it’s true – I just tend to stick with whatever’s on the radio, or whatever’s in the Top 10. Literature’s always been more my thing. But of course, because the Managing Director had asked me to try my hand at it, I knew I couldn’t muck it up. And besides, his brief was: ‘basically, it might be a DJ who’s into dad music, and your job is to make him sound appealing’. I think it’s pretty hard to fail when you have a brief like that, so I chose a random DJ from my random Google search, and drafted a brief profile for him. I did the same for an upcoming acoustic night in Rotherham, and spent quite a bit of time hovering over it, moving commas around, thinking how terrible it sounded. I didn’t really want to send it to him because I didn’t think it was anywhere near my best work. When I finally ran out of time and couldn’t obsess over it any more, I emailed it to him and asked him to let me know what he thought. Turns out, it’s pretty much the thing he was expecting, so it couldn’t have been as awful as I’d built it up to be in my mind. I haven’t written anything more for the magazine yet, but I have a feeling that will be on next week’s agenda.

The following day, I continued working on building up the press databases for two of the cook books currently undergoing the editorial process. It felt like a long day because the PR lady wasn’t there, and because I pretty much did this all day, but I understand that sometimes you have to work on some slightly boring tasks. That’s the way with everything. But it was also nice to hear that my name is in one of their books as a contributor – well, the first of many, hopefully! And it goes off to print this week.

On Thursday, I wrote a profile for another café, which I thoroughly enjoyed again. Profiling is definitely my favourite part of the job! And then I spent the rest of the afternoon calling round clients to confirm their attendance to the launch night on Monday. I didn’t really enjoy that bit. I hate talking to people over the phone, and I felt like I stuttered a few times because I was nervous in case anyone asked me any questions I couldn’t answer. Still, I suppose it’s a part of the job I’m going to have to get used to – so practise makes perfect! It was then my responsibility to update the information on the guest list so the PR lady could see how many people would be attending.

On Friday, the final day of my second week, I was asked to edit a recipe, formatting it correctly, and making sure all the ingredients were included in the method and vice versa. Then more follow-up calls for the launch to the people who’d been unavailable the day before. It didn’t feel as bad this time around because I’d already made a bunch of phone calls the day before, so hopefully it will keep getting easier. I then got to do a small write-up for a local pub which has just launched its brand-new menu. I’m still waiting for the press team to send me through some photos and more press details for the piece before I can send it to the PR lady, but I’m happy that I got a first draft together so quickly using just the menu and the pub’s website. I’m hoping that says something about my creative capabilities.

I also got the chance to start a press piece for a local magician’s workshop. Then I was made an admin on the company’s Facebook page so I could tag the contributors of the book in a post about the book release. This was definitely the busiest day so far.

Honestly, I cannot believe how much they have already given me to do. I’ve only been there two weeks, and already I feel like I’ve done a little bit of everything. I’m grateful to be getting such an in-depth look at the kind of job I want to be doing in the near future, and it’s giving me great, solid experience to add to my CV. This week had been a little more challenging than last week, mainly due to the phone calls. I didn’t think they’d allow me to have such an active role in contacting clients, and as I said, I hate talking on the phone, but I understand that it’s an integral part of the job, so I’m going to keep powering through until it becomes easier. I’m just really enjoying being an editorial-slash-marketing-slash-PR assistant. I could seriously get used to it.

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