This time around we asked Beth Ure, who has been interning with us from the University of Liverpool, to tell us a bit about herself and her observations of the world of PR. Welcome Beth…
Tell us a bit about yourself, how did your journey towards PR start?
I did some work experience with a solicitors’ practice when I was 16, and they tried to give us as rounded an experience as possible. That included a workshop with the practice’s retained PR agency, and it was probably my favourite part of the week. We had a little headline competition and I got to be creative and punny, and that pretty much sealed the deal.
What’s the most important skill you think you’ll need in PR?
Being able to juggle different tasks. There’s a lot of research involved in PR, and it’s far easier to do in small chunks throughout the day rather than dedicating hours to one topic. If you keep changing it up you can see everything with fresh eyes and stay engaged, but you don’t want things to fall through the cracks either. It’s all about keeping those plates spinning.
What is the biggest misconception you’ve heard about PR?
Probably that we’re trying to trick people. PR often gets lumped in with things like ‘propaganda’ and ‘spin’, so everyone assumes the job is trying to hide things from the media to maintain an image or persuade people of things that aren’t true. It gets really frustrating when in reality, we’re trying to keep people more informed!
What are you enjoying most about your role so far?
All the people I’ve met! I’m enjoying the work I’m doing but it wouldn’t be the same if the whole team weren’t as supportive and encouraging as they are. They’ve all made me feel so welcome.
What did you want to do when you were younger?
The first job I remember considering was a chef or baker, when I was about 6. I liked helping my parents out in the kitchen, particularly if there was going to be cake involved, because I got to eat all the mixture off the spoon, and cooking and baking shows are always on in my house. I think I was under the impression that I would get endless free food and be able to live in a world where I always had all the ingredients I would need for a recipe. I do still enjoy cooking and baking though.
Tell us something interesting about yourself
I’m really interested in Medieval Literature. My grandad on my dad’s side wrote his PhD thesis on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, so I took a Medieval module in my second year of university and fell in love. It’s a really interesting period for a bit of language nerd like me, because you can see the origins of certain words, as well as words that have fallen out of use. It’s also really ambiguous, because everything was handwritten, so you can get a bit investigative with the manuscripts and try and interpret what different words and symbols means, like you’re decoding a message.
It also helps that I was a bit obsessed with the BBC adaptations of Robin Hood and Merlin when they came out.
Who’s your role model?
My older sister, Katie. I used to drive her up the wall because I wanted to be exactly like her, so I was always copying everything she did. I don’t think my mum appreciated having to buy two of everything either…
Even though we’re definitely very different now, and I don’t (intentionally) copy her anymore, she’s still the first person I go to for advice on anything I need help with, and she’s never led me astray!
Did you always know you wanted to work in PR?
Not at all. I think I considered every possible career over my childhood, from being a chef to an actress to a doctor. I have always loved English, and from memory even as I flipped between all those different careers, I think I always came back to journalism or being an author. I’m sure I would have considered PR way before university if I’d known how much writing I’d get to do!
What do you do for fun?
I try and read as much as I can in my spare time, as all English Literature students do, though my Netflix addiction sometimes gets in the way of that. I’m also always trying to find good opportunities to see my friends in London. We all got scattered across the North when we started university so we try and meet up as much as possible.
What was the first single you bought?
I’m pretty sure it was Sugababes, Taller in More Ways. I’m a youngest sibling though so it’s far more likely that’s the first one that got passed down to me by my sister rather than the first one I bought myself.