Truth be told, I had no idea what to expect with Whistle PR. I’d never worked in any PR agencies before the two weeks there and I was nervous leading up to the day I was starting my placement.

You can only make one first impression after all and I didn’t know what to wear. Yes, it’s true that Claire (that’s Saltmarshe, not Gething – there are two!) had been clear in her email about smart casual being the dress code but I had no idea what that meant. Honestly, I had nothing to worry about.

From the second I stepped foot into the Whistle offices, I was greeted by kind people who were more than eager to help me settle in and answer any questions that I had. Robyn, Claire S & Sarah were the people in on my first day and after Claire had finished running me through the timetable of what I’d be up to during my placement, I was invited along to a team meeting with everyone.

This is where I first realised that Whistle is like one big family. Everybody here genuinely cares about one another, and the culture of the workplace is amazing. People will talk to each other about the different things they’re working on as well as just taking a real interest in their lives. Sarah checks in with everyone at the end of the meeting to see how they’re feeling, and nobody lied! As somebody who has had to fake his emotions through more than my fair share of team meetings, it was refreshing to see people say how they’re actually feeling and hear genuine concern from the rest of the team. Luckily, I was at a 10 for both weeks, a great case of everything coming up Milhouse.

But let’s get to the work! – I did a press release, content calendar, sector audit, purpose led PR task, newsjacking task, social media audit and an in-depth pitch. For the most part, these were all activities that were new to me and challenged me in a good way. I learnt a lot of practical skills thanks to these activities that I didn’t even learn at university. Even better is that I have been able to apply what I learnt here to my university work.

You’ll be glad to hear that everybody here goes above and beyond. Amy even does a session where you can just talk over any concerns and worries that you might have which helped me put some personal things into focus. I soaked up the atmosphere here and saw just how fast things move in a PR agency. Claire G’s feedback on my pitch helped me realise something that I was missing in my university major project, and Emily constantly let me pester her with questions that I had regarding the industry.

Overall, I’ve really enjoyed my time here and have learnt a lot. I would consider myself lucky if I could work at an agency that even has half of the culture that Whistle does.

Sharik Raja is studying MA in Public Relations at Birmingham City University and joined Whistle PR for a two week work placement in July 2022. Whistle PR offers a range of integrated communications services including strategic consultancy, PR, social media and internal communications. For further information email or contact us here.