View a full range of our ebooks

View full library

Explore

Our Location

The PHA Group
117 Wardour Street,
Hammer House,
London,
W1F 0UN

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com
PHA Digital Studio
Fourth Floor,
47 Dean St,
Soho,
London,
W1D 5BE

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com
PHA Finance Department
117 Wardour Street,
Hammer House,
London,
W1F 0UN

0207 0251 350
info@thephagroup.com

What a month at The PHA Group

What a month at The PHA Group

By Ellen Maddin, The PHA Group Intern

It’s the final day of August and it’s my final day at PHA-Media. Some say, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ and my month here definitely has.

I remember the 2-minute wait in reception on my first day felt like an eternity. The nerves were mounting and upon reflection; the 2 double shot cappuccinos I’d had that morning were probably not a good idea.

However, the welcome given to me by the Entrepreneurs and Business Team (Abbi, Emily, Celia, Alice, Prisca, Jasmin, James and Stuart) instantly made me feel better. I cannot express how thankful I am to them; their positive energy is infectious, their work ethic is inspiring and their supportive nature radiates across the pods. Two words to sum them up are: Girl Power! Not forgetting, of course, James and Stuart who immediately made me feel part of the team!

Now to the important points…

What I have learnt…(a vast amount):

  • I now have a real understanding of how a PR company works
  • I have learned how to use Gorkana – vital when creating media lists
  • You must be on the ball; constantly keeping an eye on news outlets for coverage opportunities
  • Brainstorming ideas is essential especially when deciding on a new pitch angle – two brains are always better than one!
  • Being confident is a fundamental part of PR – mine has grown while being here!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions (everyone is happy to answer them) – it gives a meaning to the work you are doing and it makes it much more interesting!
  • It has been exciting to see how all the different parts link together to form an overall strategy!

My Highlights

There have been too many highlights to write about them all so here are my top 3:

  1. I loved the mini project I was involved in because I could demonstrate my creative skills. It also gave me an insight into the broad range of work PHA do for their clients. Seeing the finished product was a great way to end my time.
  2. The research tasks I have completed have all been fascinating and have shown me the wide variety of clients PHA-Media have. Every day has been different!
  3. Knowing that I enjoy writing, Emily (from E&B) set me some blog posts to write for some of The PHA Group’s clients. Understanding when to use a different tone and language style has been incredibly useful!

This internship exceeded my expectations and taught me some invaluable lessons. Notably, to succeed in PR you need to be determined and enthusiastic. A month ago, I was feeling anxious about graduating in a year’s time knowing I’d be entering the ‘real world’. Now I feel like a future career in PR could hopefully be on the cards and that is all testament to what I have experienced at PHA. Thank you everyone!

P.S. influenced by the mini project I was set, my parting gift to the E&B Team is a survival kit

What a month at The PHA Group

By Ellen Maddin, The PHA Group Intern

It’s the final day of August and it’s my final day at PHA-Media. Some say, ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ and my month here definitely has.

I remember the 2-minute wait in reception on my first day felt like an eternity. The nerves were mounting and upon reflection; the 2 double shot cappuccinos I’d had that morning were probably not a good idea.

However, the welcome given to me by the Entrepreneurs and Business Team (Abbi, Emily, Celia, Alice, Prisca, Jasmin, James and Stuart) instantly made me feel better. I cannot express how thankful I am to them; their positive energy is infectious, their work ethic is inspiring and their supportive nature radiates across the pods. Two words to sum them up are: Girl Power! Not forgetting of course James and Stuart who immediately made me feel part of the team!

Now to the important points…

What I have learnt…(a vast amount):

  • I now have a real understanding of how a PR company works
  • I have learnt how to use Gorkana – vital when creating media lists
  • You must be on the ball; constantly keeping an eye on news outlets for coverage opportunities
  • Brainstorming ideas is essential especially when deciding on a new pitch angle – two brains are always better than one!
  • Being confident is a fundamental part of PR – mine has grown while being here!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions (everyone is happy to answer them) – it gives a meaning to the work you are doing and it makes it much more interesting!
  • It has been exciting to see how all the different parts link together to form an overall strategy!

My Highlights

There have been too many highlights to write about them all so here are my top 3:

  1. I loved the mini project I was involved in because I could demonstrate my creative skills. It also gave me an insight into the broad range of work PHA do for their clients. Seeing the finished product was a great way to end my time.
  2. The research tasks I have completed have all been fascinating and have shown me the wide variety of clients PHA-Media have. Everyday has been different!
  3. Knowing that I enjoy writing, Emily (from E&B) set me some blog posts to write for some of The PHA Group’s clients. Understanding when to use a different tone and language style has been incredibly useful!

This internship exceeded my expectations and taught me some invaluable lessons. Notably, to succeed in PR you need to be determined and enthusiastic. A month ago, I was feeling anxious about graduating in a year’s time knowing I’d be entering the ‘real world’. Now I feel like a future career in PR could hopefully be on the cards and that is all testament to what I have experienced at PHA. Thank you everyone!

P.S. influenced by the mini project I was set, my parting gift to the E&B Team is a survival kit

Five tips for PR interns

I’ve learned a lot in my short stay at The PHA Group about the world of PR and for that I’m incredibly grateful.

So, if you are thinking about a PR internship, here are five quick pointers:

  1. Be curious about the bigger picture: One of the things that makes PR so interesting is its complexity. More is constantly going on than meets the eye. Always deliver on a brief but be sure to ask about the bigger picture and where it fits in with the strategic goals of the clients and the agency. Knowing this will also motivate you to do the ‘mundane’ tasks and, take my word for it, doing them fast and well will get you far enough.
  1. Don’t think “sell-in”, think “pitch in”: When I was first told to sell-in a story, I didn’t really feel up to the task. I thought I had to master some kind of sales skills and that put me off.  Turns out I had the term down wrong; to “sell-in” is to chat with a journalist and convince them that your content will enhance their piece or publication. So rather than a sales call, you should think about it as a persuasive dialogue. Also, be sure to discretely eavesdrop when an account manager or someone more senior is pitching and study them (without staring creepily though…)
  1. Less is more: If you’re moving straight from academia, you probably use words like ‘ameliorate’ where ‘improve’ works just fine. Of course you do – essays are more about expanding than condensing. To make the leap to PR, you’ll need to make your content short and snappy. Put it this way, you’ll have a journalist’s attention for less than 20 words or 15 seconds (if that). Make them count!
  1. Make friends: This may sound obvious. You want to have a good time and all that. Who wouldn’t right? That’s all well and good but what friends have to offer other than fun is guidance and crucially, backing. If you like the company and you think you’re well-suited for a role, make sure you take time to build relationships with the whole team and you’ll hopefully have more than just yourself making a case for you.
  1. Ask and take risks: Ask questions, and make sure you’re getting enough feedback to improve on your writing, time-management skills and pitching-in. But be grateful and understanding when people take the time to walk you through a task and show you’ve mastered it the next time around. It is useful to volunteer for a task that is more challenging than your previous one – this shows you’re growing and listening. Internships are short and if the learning curve isn’t steep and a bit scary, you’re not doing it right.

Dimitris Dimitriadis

 

Image: Thomas Edwards, flickr.com

Hungry but Humble – a guide to succeeding as an intern

University students and graduates are always on the lookout for internships, to gain that invaluable work experience that university simply cannot teach you. Having been successful in gaining an internship in my first year at university, in a fast-paced public relations agency in the heart of London, here are my top five tips on succeeding as an intern.

Five ways to impress.

Five ways to impress.

Show drive and willing

Before starting my internship I received one piece of advice from a university lecturer, which I believe will help any intern stand out from all the previous interns. ‘Go into the workplace hungry but humble’ with a smile on your face and happy to take on everything and anything. This will be sure to get you noticed around the office – too many interns feel they have some sanctimonious right to be involved in all of the exciting projects.

Prove yourself

Reality check: you have to prove that you are good enough to be involved in the exciting projects, by making sure every task you are given, however small, is carried out to the best of your ability.

I have had the opportunity to get involved in countless tasks during my time as an intern. I have created numerous media lists and have been a little media detective looking for celebrities, agents or managers’ contact information. I really enjoy doing this, and to some extent have become an expert at creating them now.

Working in Soho has been fun.

Working in Soho has been fun.

Get our your comfort zone

Always attempt to do any tasks even if you are not confident with them. I have to be honest, press releases are not my strongest point but I was hungry to learn how to get better at writing them and have now written a number of during my time at PHA. It’s true what they say, you only get better with practice.

Use existing skills

Don’t be afraid to offer help in tasks that you feel you are capable of doing well; I have a background in film editing, and I offered to edit a video that needed doing. This saved time for my colleagues to get on with other tasks that needed completing – plus it feels particularly rewarding knowing the skills you already have can be applied professionally.

Spend time with your colleagues outside of work

Finally, socialising and getting to know your colleagues is not only imperative, but actually really fun. People can be completely different as they are in work mode, but everyone is a lot more relaxed outside of a work setting. This is also a great opportunity for your colleagues to get to know more about you, and for you to leave your mark so you are not forgotten.

The PHA Group wins Media Employer of the Year Award

February 18th 2015 will long be a date that sticks in the mind of The PHA Group employees for all the right reasons.

On a star-studded evening, hosted by Pathfinders at Soho’s Ham Yard Hotel, the company scooped the biggest prize in their ten-year history as they claimed the prestigious ‘Media Employer of the Year’ award.

It was a vindication of the journey and hard work that the company from the top down have undergone and the ethos that has been established over the best part of a decade.

Credit must also be paid to runners-up, Brandfuel, who were extremely magnanimous in defeat as the judges revealed there was little to separate the two companies, who were by far and away this year’s outstanding candidates.

PHA's Director of PR Stuart Skinner collects the award

PHA’s Director of PR Stuart Skinner collects the award

Particular areas of praise included the firm’s staff appraisal process, high retention rate, and consistent ability to convert interns into full-time staff, something I have particular experience of.

It is difficult to argue that the award was deserved as I have seen first-hand the work and personable nature of the company on a daily basis. Being just days short of my year anniversary (a date which is naturally in everyone’s diaries) has meant that I have been one of the main beneficiaries of the businesses’ numerous schemes and internship programmes. Yes, this was my first year at the company and we claimed victory but to suggest a correlation would be too much… I was just delighted to be involved in the entry process as my experience has been a wholly positive one.

While ‘Bra packer to Junior Account Executive’ is unlikely to be the title of my impending autobiography, it does highlight the importance that the company place on the person behind the CV. Ensuring the job is done to the best of your ability is, of course, paramount in any profession but I do believe that the culture of a workplace is equally crucial and can further fuel success. From the approachability of the company partners, to the strong sense of team, right through to Friday massages and drinks…The PHA Group have their staff’s best interests at heart.

It is equally important that this award is not seen as the end of the journey but merely the beginning of it. It is always nice to be recognised in this nature but it is worth pondering why we were victorious and how such high levels of staff satisfaction can be maintained and even improved upon. The accolade is not to be underestimated and while PHA are ruled out of winning the award in the future, we will have great pride in handing the award to next year’s worthy winners. Now in true Ab Fab style, let the champagne flow!

Director of PR, Stuart Skinner, was understandably delighted with the accolade: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award. We have won prizes before for commercial growth, and for client campaigns, but this award genuinely means the most. This one is all about the people in the company and they are the most important asset we have and what drives the business forward.”

For more information on working at The PHA Group click here.

The PHA Group wins Media Employer of the Year Award

February 18th 2015 will long be a date that sticks in the mind of The PHA Group employees for all the right reasons.

On a star-studded evening, hosted by Pathfinders at Soho’s Ham Yard Hotel, the company scooped the biggest prize in their ten year history as they claimed the prestigious ‘Media Employer of the Year’ award.

It was vindication of the journey and hard work that the company from the top down have undergone and the ethos that has been established over the best part of a decade.

Credit must also be paid to runners up, Brandfuel, who were extremely magnanimous in defeat as the judges revealed there was little to separate the two companies, who were by far and away this year’s outstanding candidates.

PHA's Director of PR Stuart Skinner collects the award

PHA’s Director of PR Stuart Skinner collects the award

Particular areas of praise included the firm’s staff appraisal process, high retention rate, and consistent ability to convert interns into full time staff, something I have particular experience of.

It is difficult to argue that the award was deserved as I have seen first-hand the work and personable nature of the company on a daily basis. Being just days short of my year anniversary (a date which is naturally in everyone’s diaries) has meant that I have been one of the main beneficiaries of the businesses’ numerous schemes and internship programmes. Yes, this was my first year at the company and we claimed victory but to suggest a correlation would be too much… I was just delighted to be involved in the entry process as my experience has been a wholly positive one.

The PHA representatives celebrate the win.

The PHA representatives celebrate the win.

While ‘Bra packer to Junior Account Executive’ is unlikely to be the title of my impending autobiography, it does highlight the importance that the company place on the person behind the CV. Ensuring the job is done to the best of your ability is of course paramount in any profession but I do believe that the culture of a workplace is equally crucial and can further fuel success. From the approachability of the company partners, to the strong sense of team, right through to Friday massages and drinks…The PHA Group have their staff’s best interests at heart.

It is equally important that this award is not seen as the end of the journey but merely the beginning of it. It is always nice to be recognised in this nature but it is worth pondering why we were victorious and how such high levels of staff satisfaction can be maintained and even improved upon. The accolade is not to be underestimated and while PHA are ruled out of winning the award in the future, we will have great pride in handing the award to next year’s worthy winners. Now in true Ab Fab style, let the champagne flow!

Director of PR, Stuart Skinner, was understandably delighted with the accolade: “We are absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this award. We have won prizes before for commercial growth, and for client campaigns, but this award genuinely means the most. This one is all about the people in the company and they are the most important asset we have and what drives the business forward.”

For more information on working at The PHA Group click here.

What I’ve learned from a month in PR

Monday morning, Wardour Street, Soho, 8am. Not due to be in the office until 9 a.m., I was two coffees down and definitely rather anxious about my first day in the big wide working world. The first thing I learnt, however, is that the most apprehensive part about a new job is the hours leading up to it: once you’re there you barely have a chance to remember to be worried.

A month has passed since my first day at PHA and I’ve learned a lot in that period. Looking back, if I could have asked for one thing before I started it would have been some advice on what to expect, so here is my guide to anyone starting in PR.

 

  1. Ask questions. Lots of questions. As Voltaire said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Smart man. The more you ask the more you learn, it really is that simple.

 

  1. Don’t expect to know everyone’s names within your first week (unless you’re in a company with ten people, in which case you probably should). During one internship I accidentally sent an email to a client instead of my colleague as I confused their names. Much embarrassment. Revisit point one.

 

  1. Flexibility is your friend. Firstly, no one day is the same in PR and you could plan your day down to the last second but chances are that something will crop up that throws this plan out of the window. By all means, be organised (this will help A LOT), have targets for each day, but don’t always expect plain sailing.

 

  1. Chances are, you may know more about the day to day workings of PR than some of your clients. This can be a bit of a blessing, the less they know the more responsibility you have and the less they might try to correct you. Of course, this also means that you need to understand exactly what you are doing for them and guide them through it step by step.

 

  1. Be a chameleon. Being in PR means that you have to be able to judge how you present yourself in front of certain people, and this changes from colleagues to client and from client to client. One client regularly includes ‘fo shizzle’ in her responses, some clients may not understand this down-with-the-kids talk, so probably best avoided overall.

 

  1. Speak your mind! At the interview you sold yourself as someone who would be able to contribute something valuable to the team, so voice your opinions and ideas. After all, you weren’t hired to sit in the background.

 

  1. You’ll develop a new found passion for something you have never even thought about before. Well, you will at least spend enough time writing and pitching so enthusiastically about something you’ll think you have.

 

  1. Very few things are ever irretrievable. Probably the most reassuring piece of advice: if something goes wrong, keep calm and ask for help, your colleagues will always be on hand to assist.

For more information about PR jobs, internships or opportunities at The PHA Group, visit our recruitment section by clicking this link or email work@thephagroup.com

 

Image courtesy of Niuton May, flickr.com