Alix Gaisford St Lawrence is working at Proof this July, getting a taste of STEM PR before heading back to Exeter University to finish her degree. This week she blogs about her first week at Proof, and what it was like to pitch her first ever press release.
I am lucky that a company like Proof agreed to employ the one millennial with more enthusiasm for tech than actual knowledge, but I’m grateful they did. I have quickly discovered that just as Proof looks to inform the wider public about new STEM ideas, they have begun to do the same for me. My first story to pitch was about four young engineers who had won the Royal Academy of Engineering 1851 Royal Commission Enterprise Fellowship, innovators my age with infinitely more entrepreneurial talent than I could imagine. With the help of the team who have patiently explained these innovations, I have now a basic understanding of how a mouldable fabric can be used to control electronics on 3D plains, something which even last week would have confused me to my very core.
The challenge now is to convince a journalist that these innovations are as cool as I think they are whilst maintaining a professional tone. As a loud and brash woman, the confidence was not the issue but rather the ability. Things do become more complicated when you are talking to people who do not necessarily want to be talked to. In order to prepare myself for this feat of determination I attempted to talk to commuters on the central line, this was much scarier than any journalist could possibly be. I was, however, incredibly lucky to have a lovely journalist as my first pitch and therefore nothing to worry about. I am currently waiting on tenterhooks to see the fruits of my labour, an article about incredible tech that will perhaps interest others as much as it did me.
The team here at Proof is so well equipped with a variety of arts and science graduates, the amalgamation of interests and skills is to Proof’s credit. This can be seen from my desk surrounded by people who now have personal relationships with both the clients they represent and the journalists they pitch to. From my brief time here it seems to be a passion for the components that make up a successful pitch. Proof is fortunate in that their clients are at the forefront of innovation and therefore their work and opinions are of interest to anyone with a curious nature.
I look forward to developing my pitching over the summer. Shadowing the team and listening to them expertly explain an innovation in a succinct manner in a matter of seconds has made me eager to hone the same skills myself. In a city where time is a commodity it is both in and out of the office that efficiency in communication is of use. Being thrown in the (supervised) deep end is not something many interns get to experience; most of my peers have become glorified office baristas. Being allowed and trusted to represent Proof in my first week has been an extraordinary opportunity to learn as I go.
If you have any questions about my blog please email me at Alix@proofcommunication.com