When I was just 15 years old, I wondered into the big wide world of work, for one week only, at the Herald Express Newspaper in my home town. It was a week of learning, shadowing, and discovering a lack of want to work in the journalistic profession!
So, it was ironic that I now returned, five years later, with life goals set, to the exact same place.
It had changed quite a bit since the paper had gone from daily to weekly; less staff, less deadlines, just as much commotion. Since the Online aspect of the world had hit, the newspaper now has to fixate on driving customers there as well as just the print itself.
In all honesty, my first two days at the paper were pretty mundane.
My ideal job is within Social Media Marketing, so naturally, I asked to be with the advertising side of the paper this time around, rather than the editorial, seeing as I already knew that wasn’t for me!
Because of this, I spent the first two days watching, and listening in on Telesales calls. I can tell you, only hearing one side of a sales conversation is perhaps even more boring than it sounds. I did learn a few things; how the technology and programmes used work, some sales techniques, the importance of advertising, but I didn’t feel they were abusing my potential.
On Wednesday morning, they put me with the Social Media guy, named ‘Guy’. I was in my element.
He showed me the Facebook and Twitter Pages, and explained what he used them for; The Facebook not a lot, but Twitter to spread stories, pick up leads and expand the newspapers following.
He also showed me a website called ‘Hootsuite’ which I funnily enough follow on Twitter, but had never used. It is a website designed to bring all your social media sites into one site to make management easier. I made a note to myself to set up an account.
However, while watching Guy work, and after spending two days watching people try and sell advertising space in the newspaper and on-line, I realised there was a valuable opportunity being missed, so I decided to bit the bullet, and put my idea across. The space surrounding the Twitter page, to the left and right of the screen, also known as the ‘Design’, could well be used for promotion, or paid advertising. This went down a treat. He called over the head of advertising who thought it was a great idea, and straight away he went on to try and change the design of the Twitter page. After struggling slightly, I helped point him in the direction of how to go about changing this, and then, before he knew it, there was promotion all over the Twitter page, filling the readers eyes. Job done.
After an exciting and rewarding morning, I was then placed with the creative designer, who designed and created most of the adverts that were booked with the Herald. Following that, I was placed with the head of the newspaper distribution, who explained and analysed lots of facts and figures to me, and described the intensity of his job.
On Thursday and Friday, I was out in the field, finding current and new clients, and trying to persuade them to take up more advertising, be it on-line, in the main newspaper, or various features they were currently running. By Friday, I was having lots of input, and helping the woman I was working with (who was perhaps not completely aware of all the benefits of On-Line advertising) to persuade and sell more advertising spots. I even got two Job offers! Two companies, who when described the benefits of online advertising, said that they wanted to, but were unaware of how to do it. When they realised that Social Media was my specialty they offered If I would work for them! One of the companies, being a new nightclub about to open next month, understood the importance of social media to make the young generation aware of their presence, especially in promoting nights, gaining a guest list, and for photographs.
When it was finally time to leave, I found myself slightly sad that I would no longer be working in this world of fast paced, ever busy work, and found myself excited to finish University, and start in this world myself.
So what did I learn? Where do I start? Never be too shy to get stuck in and involved. Put your ideas across, they may land you something great. Any knowledge is new knowledge. Even something boring could work out to provide some knowledge without you even knowing. Learning is good!
So, after an brilliant week, and after gaining a whole heap of experience and lessons, I find myself ready and wanting to start off in this big wide world of work.
Perhaps paid next time!