Molly Jones: My Placement Year at Spink

17 November 2017: Branching Out

I am now about to finish my fifth month working at Spink. The time seems to be going very quickly – I can’t believe that it’s coming up to the half-way point of my placement. As my role would imply, my work is predominantly digitally based so a lot of my time is spent managing the social media accounts of our clients. However, especially recently, I have also been given the opportunity to get involved with other projects that aren’t so digitally based. This has given me a much broader understanding of how a PR agency works and the different roles there are within the agency that I am not directly a part of.

A couple of weeks ago I visited The Houses of Parliament to be involved in an All-Party Parliamentary Group about healthy homes and buildings on behalf of one our clients. Spink has a strong focus on public affairs for this client, so I was there to listen to the speakers giving oral evidence in response to a Green Paper draft, whilst also taking notes and live tweeting from our client’s Twitter accounts. Although this meeting was not related to digital marketing, it was very interesting for me to listen and get a stronger understanding of the political work that our client is involved in.

Within the last month, Spink have also been preparing for a global digestive health congress, where a number of press releases were published in relation to the topics discussed at the event. This resulted in widespread international coverage and I was involved in tracking all of this coverage and inputting into documents for future reporting.

Another big focus for the agency was a new business pitch for a health and beauty brand. I was given the opportunity to be involved with the initial brainstorming session, helping to decide how we were going to structure an impactful and exciting campaign that would win us the new business. I then assisted with the digital and social media aspects for the campaign, contributing ideas to how we can ensure a strong social presence and achieve high levels of online engagement. It’s exciting to be involved with new pitches and I really enjoy having the chance to be creative and come up with ideas that are outside the boundaries of my job description.

22nd September 2017: A Day at BrightonSEO

Last Friday I attended BrightonSEO, a one-day marketing conference that gives digital marketer’s a chance to meet and expand their knowledge. Held every year in the Brighton Centre, close to Spink’s office, it was an interesting day where I could meet more experienced SEO’s and gain knowledge on a variety of aspects in the digital marketing field.

The first track of the day I attended was Paid Search in which there were three talks on B2B Adwords Tactics, Remarketing Tactics and Excel Formulas for pay per click professionals. Adwords can be a bit daunting, especially when you have only been using it for a few months like I have, so this was an especially interesting talk to get to grips with the world of paid search, coming away with some solid strategies to use in my daily work.

Another track that was particularly interesting was on influencer marketing, the latest ‘trend’ when it comes to getting your company’s name on the radar. It was highlighted that the majority of companies don’t fully understand the value of influencers, throwing money at campaigns with no real concrete analytics to show how successful these campaigns have been. Allyson Griffiths of iCrossing inspired listeners to rethink their approach to influencers and to assess what brands really want out of the partnership? Think, that if you are reaching out to 30 bloggers in the same community, all you are doing is putting the same story out to the same audience 30 times – a waste of money. Strategies need to be put in place to make sure you are getting the most out of campaigns.

Other talks that I attended included Technical SEO – a very advanced talk about server-side tweaks to improve your SEO and advanced site architecture – and a keynote from Google’s Gary Illyes, discussing google search, search console, and everything SEO.

I really enjoyed my day at BrightonSEO and learnt a lot of new information that I can now use and implement within my role at Spink. It was a great experience to meet other people doing similar work to me and learn from experts.

20th September 2017: Into the swing of it

I have now finished my second month working at Spink, in which I have embarked on lots of new tasks and levels of responsibility. On top of my digital work, I was involved in a new business brainstorming session where the team got together to come up with ideas for a new and unique pitch. Alongside the brainstorm, I was involved in undertaking market research, looking into competitor activity and how we could offer something different to the current marketing initiatives that were currently being undertaken in that market. It was great to be involved in this process and to experience the work involved in new business pitches.

In the last month, I have supported the preparation and implementation of new social accounts for some of our existing clients. A lot of careful planning has gone into this to ensure the execution of a smooth launch, including the creation of community management guidelines, content calendars and example posts. It’s been really interesting to see the level of planning involved in setting up social accounts, especially when this is something we do so easily and quickly without thought in our personal lives and I am looking forward to seeing how these accounts grow and develop in the coming months.

We are also preparing a new product launch for one of our clients, which is another area of the business that I have assisted with. Here, I have helped to plan the social posts that count down towards the new product launch, as well as creating graphics and banners for the new product to generate an online ‘buzz’ around the product.

During the last month at Spink I feel like I have really settled into working life. It’s very different to the university life that I am used to, but I really appreciate the structure and routine that work has given me. I now feel more confident within my role and have been able to find my feet within the agency.

Last Friday I was able to attend Brighton SEO, a one-day search marketing conference attended by digital marketers from across the country. It was a great opportunity to listen to different talks all about digital marketing. Will be posting an in-depth post on my day soon!

1st August 2017: Reflecting on my first month at Spink

I’m Molly, a third-year International Business student from the University of Portsmouth. I have recently returned from a year studying abroad at EDHEC Business School in the north of France and I am spending the next year working as a Digital Marketing Executive at Spink for my placement year.

I have been involved in a wide variety of activities during my first month at the agency, from contributing and creating content for a range of social media accounts to updating agency and client websites. I have been given a degree of responsibility within the agency that has allowed me to push myself and gain real-life experience, adding to the theory that I have learnt in lectures and seminars at university. Creating content for social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram has enabled me to apply my creative skills, which I something I really enjoy. Further to this, I am supporting the agency’s evaluation techniques and now monitor the range of coverage that is achieved at Spink.

One of the more notable activities within my first month was attending an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) AGM at the Houses of Parliament. For the APPG, which was on healthy homes, I updated various social media accounts with the highlights, developments and outcomes of the meeting. I have also been involved in internal agency meetings (such as creative brainstorms) and external client meetings, including one with a male cancer charity to discuss their social media offering.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my first month at Spink, where I have learnt much more than I thought I would have in such a short space of time. The team are interested in my ideas and give me tasks that really contribute to the agency’s offering, so I feel like a valued member of the team. I am looking forward to the next 11 months at the agency, before I return for my final year at university, and will post regular updates and highlights within this blog.


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