By Micaela Sowerby – Intern and first-time BRITs attendee
January, a time to begin a New Year and ease yourself back into work after several weeks of Christmas celebrations, however – at a placement like mine, this is not quite the case. The minute the DawBell team are back in the office it’s all systems go, and we are flung back into working life as it’s the time for the biggest event in the awards calendar, The BRITs.
The BRITs is held at the O2 Arena, and to truly help you understand what a big event it is, with press facilities and a red carpet, we catered to over 300 UK and international press. To make it a little more nerve-wracking, the show was broadcasted live on ITV and ITV2. Hi Mum!
2018 marks my very first BRIT Awards and I was honoured to be part of such an amazing and hard working team. On Wednesday 21st February, after weeks of planning and preparing, the DawBell team arrived at the O2 Arena and were given a run through of what to expect on the night – it was live after all so anything could happen.
After all the build-up, 4pm soon rolled round. The atmosphere was electric as cars started to pull up alongside the red carpet, and what I didn’t have time to think about was how close I’d be to the celebrities!
Being the photographer’s sidekick for the evening, meant I got to witness the reaction and screams from the crowd – the most surprising of which was when the silver fox himself, Mr Schofield walked on and the crowd went wild – who knew teenagers were up in time for morning television?!
Now, my role was a runner – which I didn’t realise would be quite so literal, it meant helping photographers take their precious memory cards hot from the red carpet and full of A Lister’s photos, back to their technicians in the media room (and up a spiral staircase might I add). This was the challenging part, but what made up for all the exercise was when I did the same for the main show – not quite as hectic, it meant I got to catch glimpses at all of this year’s performers, Dua Lipa, Justin Timberlake, Rag n Bone Man, Stormzy, and the wonderful Manchester tribute that was Liam Gallagher.
The size and buzz of the arena was really quite unfathomable, and not something I can get across on paper. This is an awards show with the most memorable moments in British music history – who can forget Alex Turner’s (literal) mic drop, and the nail-biting moment Madonna’s cape was pulled off too soon?
The event highlighted why exactly I applied to this internship, I’m a Communication and Media student from Bournemouth University, and DawBell was one of the few companies that offered hands-on experience in the entertainment PR industry. As my placement rolls around to its official end I can honestly say that, so far, DawBell has been the best experience. It’s opened my eyes to what working life is really like, something University doesn’t prepare you for – the early mornings (I didn’t see the time 6am throughout my two years at University), commuting to and from London and very rare 5:30 finishes.
However, working at the BRITs is a great example of the glamour and fun that comes hand in hand with working in such an intense and demanding industry. Before starting my placement I selected my final year module options and thank goodness I choose PR as one of them, I can now go back to University with an extensive knowledge of everything PR…so I should expect firsts right?! If, like me, you’re not sure what you want to do once you graduate then a year in industry is a great way to help you decide. Working at DawBell has helped me realise that after I graduate I want to work in the entertainment PR industry.
As tough as the role sounds, and believe me it felt like I’d had a full-on cardio workout the following day, it was a very rewarding one too. I was responsible for very precious photos that had to be uploaded straight away so they could be printed in the papers the next day. So it was amazing seeing the photos I had carried, printed right in front of me in ALL the national papers.
Not only did I contribute on the night I also came in early the following morning to go through all of Thursday’s papers to pull out everything BRITs related and get it over to the relevant people who then forwarded the coverage onto BPI.
My parting gift to you is some tips and tricks to make an impression and survive your first year in the industry:
- Get involved in as much as you can – you really need to make the most of the time you have while on placement.
- It’s all about networking in this industry! So attend and get involved in as many events and campaigns as you can.
- Making an impact on your team during your placement is vital – so help out with all tasks no matter how small or big.
- Try get in about 15 minutes early and stay half an hour later than you need to – it won’t go unnoticed that you’re putting in extra time
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions, everyone always said to me at the beginning of my placement “no question is a stupid question”
- Make the most of the different aspects of your job. At DawBell we have an online and print team both of which I work in. We also have a brands and social media team and to make the most of this placement I’ve started getting involved in the brands and social media side of things.
- Have fun and enjoy the experience!
It’s an amazing honour that this blog has also been shared on my companies website: https://dawbell.com/news/backstage-at-the-brit-awards-2018