Stepping into my Intern shoes: Weeks 6 & 7

Week 6

Last week was all about the press database for the newest cook book that’s about to be released, but I also got to write a press release about the success of the publishing company so far. It was really great to be able to write this, because I got to learn about all the different accomplishments the business has enjoyed so far. They’ve won Best Newcomer, Rising Star, and Independent Publisher awards, and are building up an impressive yearly turnover. It kind of made me feel really lucky to be there.

I was also asked to listen to a webinar which was all about improving your social media presence and generating interest around your business. It was pretty interesting, and this week we’ve actually used a couple of tips from the course, so I guess it turned out to be more useful than we expected. I also had the chance to edit a couple of creative pieces I’ve written for the magazine, and the PR lady sent me the links to some of my articles that are now live on the website. That was pretty exciting.

They also have a big Sheffield-based festival coming up, so I’ve been heavily involved with writing up some venue profiles for the festival program. I have to say, I feel like I was losing my writing inspiration toward the end of it, because I’d written that many that none of it sounded any good to my ears, but I’m sure they’ll tweak it if they aren’t happy with what I’ve given them.

On the Thursday, a phone call came into the office – for me – the last thing I was expecting! It turned out that one of the radio stations I’d contacted from one of the press databases for our last book, was contacting me to arrange a last-minute radio interview. So of course, I had a mini-heart attack while on the phone with her, thinking that I’d have to do a radio interview, but luckily it was in the afternoon – long after I was due to leave the office, and one of the sales ladies was really happy to do it, so all turned out well. I was kind of proud of myself for landing them a radio interview, to tell you the truth. I just kind of wished the MD had been there, but he’s been on holiday for a fortnight, so I just hope that one of the team members mentions it to him in the sales meeting when he comes back, otherwise it just sounds like I’m bragging.

This was the week I also realised that I have quite a bit of responsibility, even though I’m only an intern. For the very first book I was involved with at the start of my internship, the response from the press contacts regarding the press release hasn’t exactly been as overwhelming as we’d hoped. So I’m having to keep chasing them to try and get more people to create coverage of the book’s release. I’m really hoping things pick up soon, but it’s good practise for me to be working on more than one book at a time, because this is very common in publishing. Or so I hear.

 

Week 7

This week has been a real mix. Between carrying on with the most recent press database, finding social media handles for the book’s contributors and press contacts, and executing smaller tasks for the magazine, I’ve also been asked to proofread a new one-off project. It’s a book that’s been written by the MD’s brother in law, and it’s really good. Basically, he road-tripped his way through America and kept a log of all the interesting things that happened to him. He talks about politics and society, his expectations of the country versus the reality, and he does all of it in a very honest and entertaining way. It’s quietly comical and has a distinctly British tone. It’s inspired, and I’m so happy to have been a small part of bringing it to print. In all honestly, I keep thinking that I might ask the MD if he’s thinking of branching out into fiction and non-fiction novels, because I would seriously LOVE to be a part of that. After all, that’s exactly what I want to be doing. And I have to say, while I was sitting there with my pen, editing away, I genuinely found my happy place. While I’ve truly enjoyed being involved with the cook books, prose is where it’s at for me. I love all that philosophical-thinking – all the ideas and plots and narrative voice. That’s the goal for me, without a doubt.

Aside from this wonderful revelation, I also got the chance to manage the photographer’s diary this week. This meant more phone calls, but after a couple of days of calling people two and three times, I found myself feeling more comfortable with it. The tricky bit is trying to get as many appointments booked on the same day as possible to make it easier for the photographer. Still chasing this as we move into the start of Week 8, so wish me luck. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it work for everyone involved.

Towards the end of the week, I was asked to try and use some of the tips from last week’s webinar, to increase our Instagram following. Whilst doing that, I had an idea of my own. At the moment, given that the PR lady has a million and one things to do, the account is understandably just about covering the bare minimum of what it needs to be doing for the company. So I thought, why not try and improve it while I’m here? Why not try and come up with a bunch of ideas as to how they can up their level of engagement with followers? So I began to do a little research, made up a list of what I thought we might be able to post about, and sent the email to the PR lady. I also copied in the MD to make sure he was seeing just how invested I am in this role that they’ve given me. It may be temporary, but I can bring something valuable to this company in that short space of time. So I’ve been thinking about putting it to the PR lady that I’d be happy to take over the social media sites while I’m here for my last six weeks, if she’s happy for me to do that.

I really hope my hard work pays off. I know I could quite easily fill a social media-based role if they were to offer me one. I know I could easily fill a PR assistant role is they were to offer me one. And I know for certain that I would be perfect to fill a role of Editorial assistant is they were to branch out into other types of books. I see a lot of potential for this to turn into a job for me, it just depends if they see it too. I hope they do.

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