Sophie’s story: My first 6 months in PR

After graduating from Sheffield Hallam University, Sophie Howard joined Cannon PR in November 2014:

Sophie Howard, Junior Account ExecutiveDespite studying Public Relations at university for three years, as well as having an interest in the media from an early age, I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I first started working at Cannon PR in November.

This is my first graduate job; I am a Junior Account Executive! Every time I tell people my job role I’m always filled with pride. But I am always asked the question: “So what do you do, exactly?”

Well, no day is the same when you work in public relations, which is what I love about my job. One day I can be writing press releases and case studies for clients; the next day I might be conducting phone interviews or attending meetings with existing and potential clients.

I remember in my first week at Cannon PR. I was asked to travel to Doncaster to do some research on an old building. I got the train and loaded up Google maps so I could find the local library and the said building, so I could take photographs. It was the simplest of tasks but I was terrified yet excited. This was my first task, out of the office, researching something I had no idea about; and I loved it.

Since then I have worked on a variety of different projects and events, created too many press releases to keep count of and worked with all of our clients to create content, copywriting, campaigns and social media support. Some days are hectic and stressful, others are easy going and interesting.

Thinking back to my first day I remember how nervous I was. I thought everything I had learnt at university would somehow leave my little knowledge collection and I would be sat slack jawed and confused at how to even start a press release. Now, six months later, I love coming into work every day and feel I have found my work balance.

There is no better feeling than seeing your work published in print or online. The first time a press release of mine was published I felt happy, proud and gobsmacked that my work was being read by hundreds, if not thousands of people. Six months into my job the same feeling exists. If this is what working in PR feels like then bring on the next six months!

Awards success for Cannon PR

Cannon PR wins top industry award

Matthew Ridsdale, the founder of Cannon PR, has been named as Yorkshire and Lincolnshire’s Outstanding Freelance Practitioner by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

He wPRide Awards 2014 Gold Winneras presented with the top industry award at a glittering awards ceremony which took place at the Queen’s Hotel Leeds, which recognised and showcased some of the very best public relations campaigns, teams and individuals from across the region.

It is the first time that the award has been presented to South Yorkshire-based PR professional and was one of four categories in which Cannon PR gained recognition, with his work on the 2014 Rotherham Real Ale and Music Festival and with the Sheffield & District Law Society also reaching the finals in the categories of best event, best regional campaign and best publication respectively, where his work competed against some of the largest consultancies and in-house communications teams in the region.

The judges of the awards, which comprised of senior members of the Public Relations industry, based outside of the region, were particularly impressed by Matthew’s outlook after he was made redundant and his ability to see his misfortune as an opportunity rather than a setback. Since forming Cannon PR, Matthew has become one of the first practitioners in Yorkshire to attain the CIPR’s Accredited Practitioner standard – awarded in recognition of his commitment to professional excellence as well as devoting his spare time to supporting local good causes.

Since forming Cannon PR, Matthew has become one of the first practitioners in Yorkshire to attain the CIPR’s Accredited Practitioner standard – awarded in recognition of his commitment to professional excellence as well as devoting his spare time to supporting local good causes as well as working with a wide variety of businesses and not-for-profit organisations throughout South Yorkshire as well as supporting some of Britain’s best known companies and brands.

Matthew said:

“The PRide awards are one of the most a highly regarded accolades in the PR industry, especially as all entries are judged by senior PR professionals working in the industry with first hand experience of what makes a good campaign.

“When the finalists were announced it was terrific to discover that my work had been shortlisted in four categories and see work that I’ve undertaken be named alongside some of the largest PR agencies and communications teams in the region was something that I immensely proud of, but to go on and be named as the region’s Outstanding Freelance Practitioner has been the highlight of my career to date.

“Of course, you can’t really win awards without the companies, charities and individuals who put their faith in you to deliver work which helps their businesses and I’d like to give a special thanks to everyone who has supported me over the past three years. It’s been a truly amazing and exciting journey and I’m now firmly setting my sights on growing the business further and hopefully more success in years to come!”

The CIPR PRide Awards is the only UK-wide awards scheme that recognises excellence in public relations and communications work across Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and six English regions. Nationally, the awards attracted over 1100 entrants, with 350 campaigns, teams, consultancies and individuals across the UK in nine different awards nations and regions reaching the shortlist.

Cannon PR founder is presented with the title of Outstanding Freelance Practitioner at the 2014 CIPR Yorkshire & Lincolnshire PRide Awards