BU PR student Mario Morello spent his placement as Digital Strategist at Lineupmedia and Assistant Account Executive at Shine Communications, working with clients spanning across Technology, FMCG, Entertainment, Fashion and Education. Here he is to tell you about his professional journey.
Throughout the first two years studying PR at Bournemouth University, I increasingly felt prepared and confident about my future placement and couldn’t wait to start. Looking back at it, I feel the University contributed in two major ways to ensuring a successful placement.
Firstly, the course strives to provide students with the right balance between theory and practice and with success organises conferences, guest lectures, workshops and a series of networking opportunities. Work still needs to be done but all of these initiatives are a great chance to learn from professionals, increase your employability and get your name out there.
Secondly, by maintaining a good reputation for the course and networking with major industry players, the University is able to secure a high number of offers from agencies and companies which have had a positive previous experience with Bournemouth undergraduates and graduates.
Confident and excited, I started my placement search relatively early, around November of my 2nd year, determined to find the perfect fit for my ambitions. I wanted to work abroad but at the same time, I liked the idea of starting my agency experience in London to gain expertise in the UK market.
I applied to the most suitable job opportunities that came through the University and contacted professionals directly via Email, Twitter or LinkedIn.
Starting my placement search so early on was proving to be successful as I attended many interviews, received a few offers and most importantly networked with some very inspirational professionals. However, as of May 2011, I had declined all offers and was very focused on my studies.
Towards mid-May, I tweeted Lineupmedia to see if they wanted to meet up. They agreed and I ended up working with them until the end of July. As the only Digital Strategist, I was primarily involved with developing and executing the digital strategy for Modern Milk and shaping the digital proposition of the agency. Along with my digital role, I was involved with media relations, strategy and events management for the Modern Milk campaign which travelled across 3 major summer festivals. The working environment was very relaxed and professional at the same time and the two co-founders were very experienced, passionate and ambitious. As a valued member of the team, I gained invaluable experience, was given great responsibility and got recognition when the Modern Milk campaign was awarded Bronze for Freshest Digital or Social Media Campaign at the Fresh Awards 2011.
While at Lineupmedia, I attended a few interviews in London and one day decided to directly get in contact with the CEO of Shine Communications to see if such a successful creative agency was able to provide me with the opportunity I was looking for. Following a few emails, multiple interviews over the phone and face-to-face, I was tasked with researching into the industry’s expenditure across marketing, public relations and advertising and report findings, trends and recommendations to inform and shape the mid-year planning session of Shine Communications. This piece of research was positively received by the management and my professional journey with Shine officially started in August 2011. Even though the agency was much bigger than Lineupmedia, the working environment was equally laid back and a combination of Shine’s culture and exciting clients made for a great start.
My colleagues were very committed to making my experience as valuable as possible and their positive attitude towards me made the tasks I was assigned easier to manage. Training was offered throughout the year and this helped with getting past the 3 months probation period which is key to getting up to speed with the different accounts and demonstrating your contribution to the team.
During my time at Shine, I was member of a team of 5, in charge of co-ordinating Sony Computer Entertainment Europe comms across 99 territories throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Oceania.
The team handled an international hub for Sony that covered its games console PlayStation 3, PlayStation Network and software releases, as well as the launch of the new PS Vita. The highlights of working on this account included the video content we produced for Resistance 3 and the launch of PS Vita. This role contributed to improving a vast array of skills in areas such as strategy and tactics, digital and social media measurement and monitoring.
In my division, I was also member of a team of 4 appointed to develop a consumer media education campaign to raise the profile of blinkbox, the UK’s largest film and TV streaming service. This campaign was very important in my career development because it exposed me to the reality of a busy press office and improved my skills in building and maintaining relationships with publications and bloggers.
Work with other clients saw me involved with media screenings, events, castings, product launches, market research and copywriting to name a few. In addition, as a member of the New Business team and Marketing team I had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects which involved strategy and insight.
It is now time to move forward
My placement experience with Lineupmedia and Shine Communications has now come to an end. It was an incredible journey which challenged my idea of PR and transformed me into the “young professional” I am today who believes that PR can have a strategic role in the organisation and needs to be aligned with the other marketing disciplines. That’s why in the future I aim to work in a strategic/planning role in an integrated agency with a media neutral approach.
-Will Cook & Mario Morello