My journey to Whistle PR began in my first few tense weeks at Birmingham City University. I had only been in the UK for a few weeks by then and I was made to realize I had to search for a work placement in my first semester.
So, I sent out several emails, one of which was sent to Whistle PR. The business support manager, Claire Saltmarshe’s response was prompt, upbeat, and comprehensive. I was free to ask as many questions as I needed, and I got answers right away. It was the brightest of green flags I needed to reassure myself that it was the right place to be.
Just like anyone entering a new environment, I was very nervous and did not know what to expect. Amazingly, the moment I stepped in; I was welcomed by a room of smiling faces. As everyone introduced themselves warmly and friendly, I quickly started to feel like I was amidst old friends. Whistle rapidly emerged as more than simply a group of coworkers—it was a family that supported one another.
My desk had been set with a customized work plan which had my name on it with login details. I was even offered a cup of tea. Within an hour, I was invited into the weekly team meeting with the Managing Director and Director who were working remotely that day. The meeting was like nothing I had experienced, everyone shared and rated how they were feeling and the activities that took place over the weekend. The thrilling thing about it was that I was not left out, I was allowed to express my nervousness to people who were willing to make me more comfortable. And when we got down to work, it felt like a natural continuation of the discussion.
I learnt so much at Whistle, I almost felt like I would be awarded a diploma on my last day. A work placement at Whistle meant being put in a real work environment. I was allowed to attend client meetings and was given daily tasks. By the end of my first day, I had written a press release and had been introduced to the social media content calendar. My two-week placement went by quickly and by the end, I had learnt about sector audits, newsjacking, green washing, purpose led PR, client presentation and media monitoring.
One of my most inspiring sessions was “cuppa and questions” with Amy. The session got me thinking about my career plans, the future of PR, my dissertation, and the various areas of PR that I could venture into. I was so thrilled I made it a task to ask more people at the office about their PR journey. Again, everyone was willing to answer my questions, share ideas and nudge me in the right direction. This has been a phenomenal shift in perspective of how I view the industry and how to make the best of the opportunities available.
The last act of my placement was to make a pitch regarding a PR launch plan for a new product to the Managing Director and Director. It turned out to be an experience I would not forget in a hurry. I had a week to prepare for the pitch and I threw everything I had at it with everything I had learnt from university and in my short time at Whistle PR. I was glad to see it all payoff. I was encouraged, feedback was given and of course tips for future presentations were shared. From this, I know I have earned the confidence to give future presentations.
I ended my placement wishing I could stop time, think of more questions, absorb more knowledge, wishing I could request more hours. Whistle is a fantastic place to work with an amazing work culture. I appreciate each and every single member of the team who is spectacularly wonderful in their own way and is always willing to help and teach. To anyone seeking a placement at Whistle, apply quickly to experience a life-changing placement…Claire is waiting.
Taiwo Adigun is a postgraduate student at Birmingham City University, studying MA Public Relations and joined Whistle PR for a two week work placement in June 2022. Whistle PR offers a range of integrated communications services including strategic consultancy, PR, social media and internal communications. For further information email email@example.com or contact us here.