Second year BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion student, Tom Pleydell undertook an exciting two-month work placement at Grayling PR. Tom tells us about his time spent at the global organisation and the projects he worked on.
What were the highlights of your work experience?
During January and February, I had the opportunity to gain valuable work experience at Grayling, a global PR and Public Affairs organisation. They work with a wide variety of global brands ranging from BMW and M&S through to sports brands such as Yonex.
I really enjoyed my time at Grayling and every aspect of my work experience was informative and challenging whilst still being highly enjoyable. I was lucky enough to work with the Birmingham, Bristol and Southampton offices on a variety of projects giving me a thorough and in-depth view of the PR industry. One day I’d be researching social media influencers for upcoming apps or brands, then the next day working on press releases and industry reports for businesses in the private sector.
What projects did you have the chance to work on?
I started my placement working on a project for a well-known national high street retailer. I carried out initial research for a new concept that Grayling were introducing to the retailer and helped formulate a pitch. I then sourced specific influencers for upcoming seasonal events and campaigns such as Valentine’s Day. I was also in charge of coverage logging, where I collated data from nationwide UK media sources when Grayling’s client was mentioned or featured. This showed me how much coverage a major PR firm can gain for their clients.
I also worked with a nationwide client from the hospitality industry, conducting in-depth research into industry news and insights to inform client reports. This was really interesting to work on, as I gained an insight into the sector and saw how Grayling utilise research to inform their reports and client work.
What did you most enjoy about your placement?
Producing press releases for clients because the work I did was directly utilised. I also enjoyed the influencer research work I did for different projects. The buzz of finding someone that might actually be involved in the PR process for the client was brilliant.
I valued the experience of working with different Grayling teams and offices across the UK. This was possible due to my placement being virtual and Grayling being a highly integrated and interconnected company. I was able to meet more team members, be involved in a variety of team meetings and build good working relationships with different members of staff.
How has this experience informed your career aspirations?
It’s exposed me to the PR industry and how fast-paced and exciting it can be. It allowed me to develop my communication and organisational skills as my placement was virtual, and I also learnt about different software and techniques that will be so valuable in my future career.
It’s always been my goal to expand my social media streetwear business, @all.streetwear, into a career. I work with brands and influencers from all around the world to promoting content and build campaigns, and I have worked with brands including the likes of FashionNova, LG and MNML.LA.
My aim is to build a successful fashion brand where I can design and release my own collections. I’ve always wanted to run my own business, and I believe the skills I’ve developed on my degree course and during my placement at Grayling will help me do that.