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PRs are the real rockstars – I’m telling my friends, and you should too

Credit: Ali Mohamoud, credit: Hope&Glory

If someone asked me what PR was really like before starting in the fast-paced agency world, I wouldn’t have known where to start. In my interview, I was told ‘no one really knows what PR is until they're in it’ - and four weeks in, I couldn’t agree more.

It’s been insightful, intriguing, and generally a whirlwind in the best possible way. From working with and brainstorming for global brands, to working in close teams to deliver projects at breakneck speed, the world of PR has much to offer for those willing to put in the work, which I was more than ready to do.

I was able to get stuck in from day one, with two large accounts to work on behind the scenes. I’ve been able to witness and experience first-hand all the different elements that make up everything from press releases to brand activations, which result in hard earned media coverage. I’ve been able to see how all of these areas come together to form the PR projects that go out into the world.

Given how busy it is, I have been taken aback at how nice everyone is - whether it’s going through the ceremonial Monday morning meeting where hard work is applauded (literally), to celebrating great results, or even looking back on my first-day task of speed dating with everyone in the agency - which while daunting - was actually a great way of introducing myself to 100 people.

I had the opportunity to be a part of the Hope&Glory internship placement after my graduation from the D&AD SHIFT program in partnership with Google. The 6-month night school gave me the opportunity to deep dive into the world of creativity and see behind the veil into the world of advertising. I learned, built, and developed the skills three nights a week.

What I realised was that Ad people are seen as the rockstars. The Don Draper types; seeing your work on billboards, YouTube ads or the TV and bragging about it to your mates. There’s a payoff that the world understands. Don’t get me wrong, it is cool, but the real rockstars are the people making the news, often without the budgets and cutting through the crazy noise each day. As media continues to merge, maybe the world will start to realise PRs are the real rockstars?

Growing up as a British Somali in London, a career in PR was never seen as an option. Like many of my peers, I didn’t know it was a pathway I could access until I was introduced to the H&G team just six weeks ago. Joining the land of Hope&Glory has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities and has shown me that creativity can take many forms.

The industry is changing and making strides towards better inclusion, both in terms of representation and creating access for people from all backgrounds. There is still work to be done, but the fact that many organisations recognise the need for change is a step in the right direction.

I’ve met some amazing people and worked on cool, creative projects, while being a part of the actual work that people see in their day-to-day lives. My background once meant that access to industries like PR were not typical, but schemes such as D&AD SHIFT make working at places like Hope&Glory possible and more people need to know they exist.

D&AD SHIFT has provided me with a pathway, but there are still many more organisations trying to connect the right opportunities to the right people - all of whom are ready for their chance. Let’s tell people about them , make those connections and make the industry a properly diverse place. 

Written by Ali Mohamoud. PR Intern at Hope&Glory.

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