As part of my postgraduate Publishing studies at Edinburgh Napier University, I was lucky enough to gain a work experience placement with independent Glasgow publisher Jasami Publishing Ltd. Jasami fosters an open and welcoming environment, where your ideas as an intern are supported, your skills trusted and your experience is adapted around the areas you want to gain experience in – making it a great place for those seeking work experience, especially those new to the industry. After suggesting my interest in marketing or publicity, the former Creative Director at Jasami took me on as a social media intern, where I worked independently on two social media campaigns, and aided the newly established Diversity team with their social media content.
The skills I honed in this position were great – creativity and initiative were the foundations of the role, project management was fundamental to ensuring the projects were launched on time, and written and oral communication were key in writing social media copy and interviewing individuals to provide content. Overall, I built valuable self-confidence as my content ideas were trusted and supported by those at Jasami. Yet, by the end of my placement I was left feeling slightly dissatisfied that I hadn’t used the opportunity to gain more direct skills in an area I am really interested in – book publicity.
So, alongside my placement I started to search for ways to show to employers my interest in publicity as a career. Upon this, I remembered the IPG Skills Hub, where Edinburgh Napier students have exclusive access, and started “Publicity Essentials”. The course was helpful in many ways, and helped to consolidate my interest in publicity. Yet, when I saw a section on social media I was slightly surprised. What I thought I had missed out on was experience within traditional PR such as writing press releases and pitching to those in the media. However, I had overlooked how the experience I was gaining in social media is key for publicity also.
Social media is an important way to build influence and gain exposure. It can establish a brand for author or publisher, provides a platform for authors to be in dialogue with their readers and can be a way for publicists to make connections with media personas and boost their other publicity efforts. Once I re-examined my placement through a publicity lens, I found new ways in which I had gained transferable experience; I had aided with a literary event and created a buzz around it on social media and learned how to use social media platforms to maintain an online brand presence and identity.
Overall, I learnt that the value of your work experience is not negated if the tasks you complete don’t match perfectly with the day-to-day of your dream role. You can make the opportunities you are provided work for you by reflecting upon the varied ways the skills you’ve cultivated will be valuable for your future career.
I am grateful to Jasami for tailoring my experience with my career aspirations and am excited to continue interning for them as a publicist for the new release of Charlie & Lola: A Tale of Two Squirrels. Check out Jasami’s current titles and 2022 releases here: https://jasamipublishingltd.com/bookstore.