The title sounds harsh for those desparately looking to break into PR, but I have had another e-mail requesting work experience / job from a “student” that has not bothered to check his or her spelling, conducted, at a push, cursory research or even said why they are interested in “photography” and what he or she can offer – I mean, have you taken a picture, what do you like taking pictures of, can I see one?
Moreover, “experience” was spelt wrong on the e-mail and I am an anonymous “sir” or “madam,” (lower case on opening) - I obviously don’t have a name as everyone I know in PR is actually is called “sir” or “madam” so it makes perfect sense.
I was asked for work experience in photography, I know professional photographers but there is not one reference to me being a photographer although I do like taking the occasional snap, so well spotted.
If I had been called I could have made a call to photographers I know, should I be impressed (as I was by a little initiative last week).
Now I have to take pity as this e-mail was from a parent – I attach no blame to the high school student.
So with that in mind I will refer all requests that cannot get past GCSE level to the following:
I am getting fed-up – in the last 6 years I have had one really good speculative approach.
When I have given pointers to other agencies that might be able to help or advice given with genuine empathy (as I was once looking for opportunities) I have had a few acknowledgments of thanks but not many.
Is this really the standard one expects of students or indeed more mature adults?
If you are looking to break into PR, one of the most sought after careers, then make sure you get the basics right.
It is more about quality of applciation than sending it to everyone with any distant relationship to the PR profession.