Posts tagged #PR
The Importance of Interning

In life, love and your career, real life experience is the only way you truly learn. You learn about yourself, your strengths and above all your weaknesses.

As hundreds of high school students graduate each year and enrol in the various communications degrees around Australia with the hope of becoming a journalist, TV presenter, PR professional, digital marketing strategist or a string of new roles that haven’t even been created yet, only a select group will actually secure their dream job or find work within their chosen profession. Most of the time, it’s because they spent more time out there gaining real work experience than spending their whole three or four years in the classroom.

Winning an internship should be seen by every undergraduate as the first day of your career. You should approach that chance to intern or gain work experience as the first day of the rest of your life, because if you play your cards right, approach the opportunity with the right attitude and are willing to work hard, listen and learn, then you have every chance of being hired.  Few interns approach work experience like this and those that do now work for us.

I say this from experience. In my first year at university studying journalism and broadcast, I was desperate to get a job, I was hungry to learn and I wanted to see what the real world of journalism was like. I contacted a video journalist at News Corp in WA and sent across an email asking for an internship or any work experience. I offered to work weekends and nights and showed just how passionate I was for the chance to work. I was offered an internship that same day and I didn’t leave until I changed careers; I spent nearly five years working for News Corp and until now,  it was the best experience of my life. I walked into that building and approached it as the first day of the rest of my life, and it was. I worked for four days a week for free for 18 months and I learnt more in that time than I have in any classroom. I learnt how to listen; not only to my immediate superior, but to the whole newsroom, I learnt about what makes a good story, office politics, story tone and what my editor wanted before he even noticed me standing in the corner as an intern.

I learnt how to be a full-timer by listening to the hustle and bustle of a buzzing newsroom before I’d even been offered the job. I made myself indispensable and treated every day as though it was a full-time paid job. Getting your first job is the easiest; it’s when you cost the least and businesses can take risks on junior salaries; it’s also the job that shapes your entire future. Now working in PR, my time as an intern and later a journalist at News Corp has shaped my entire career in communications and helps me everyday, in my role in PR.

In the coming months, Wrights will be looking for interns to join our team for a three-month period to work on some very exciting business and gain real hands on experience working in the PR industry. Here’s a hint;  we are looking to hire from our next round of interns as we do regularly. Three of our senior staff started as interns at Wrights.  They walked into Wrights and have never left, because they came with their eyes open, ears pricked, worked hard and were willing to learn. The result? All of them have been promoted.

For anyone looking for meaningful experience in the PR profession, make contact. If you’re hungry to learn, want to start your career and get a foot in the door, then send an email, state your case and come have a coffee at the Wrights office. You won’t regret it! 

Nancy McDonald#PR, Interning
Are the Brits ready for a Bunnings’ snag?

The opening of the first of 265 planned Bunnings Warehouses in the UK made Wrights’ veterans reflect on the time the firm managed the launch of its first-ever store in Sunshine, Victoria back in 1994.

Little did we know it was the start of arguably the country’s most successful retail concept.  We remembered convincing Victoria’s Premier, Jeff Kennett he would be backing a winner and potentially a major employer by agreeing to officiate at the opening ceremony. 

His successor as Victorian Premier Steve Bracks (pictured) also opened a Bunnings with Wrights, as did NSW Premier Bob Carr and Queensland Premier Peter Beattie.  They all wanted to be associated with a winning concept, a community based sausage sizzle and progress; and, Wrights was happy to facilitate.

Given Bunnings now has 280 stores and employs more than 40,000 people, Jeff and his Premier colleagues made a good call even when many doubted the viability of a store described as “a big, ugly box”, which unconventionally displayed its stock in cardboard boxes stacked to the ceiling on warehouse storage racks.

Back at the very start, Wrights also coordinated a far less formal launch of the Sunshine prototype-store nationally on the Nine Network’s The Footy Show, when a team of AFL stars made up of ex-tradies were challenged to build something using Bunnings’ extensive range of tools and building materials.  While the end result may not have passed a building inspection, the out-house christened “Dougie’s Dunny”  (in honour of Bulldog’s stalwart Doug Hawkins) did provide more laughs than it did tips for DIY enthusiasts.

While Wrights enjoyed creating excitement and publicity for each subsequent store opening, our best work was done prior to the doors opening.  A very effective PR strategy laid the groundwork enabling Bunnings’ massive expansion.   It was based on winning local support in advance by promoting the economic, employment and fund-raising benefits each Warehouse delivered to its community.

For the next two decades, Wrights launched more than 100 warehouses across the country including the converted Hardwarehouse stores added to the network in 2001.

Interestingly, our client back in 1994 was Peter ‘PJ’ Davis, the man now heading up the Bunnings UK team.

Perhaps that’s another clue to the Bunnings’ phenomenon; investing in good people who have remained loyal and shared in the company’s success. 

Mind you, we wonder whether even PJ, who started on shopfloor selling hardware in Perth close to 40 years ago, would have imagined he would end up bringing the Bunnings sausage sizzle to the Brits.

Sadly, we no longer work with Bunnings, but it was fun while it lasted and allowed Wrights to develop and implement a spectacular public relations campaign that has stood the test of time and helped define PR in Australia.