What do you really do at work?

Many people think that those of us who work in PR have very glamorous jobs and spend the majority of our time on photo shoots, meeting celebrities, watching fashion shows and ‘networking’ at parties. While that occasionally is what we can be found doing, it tends to be a much smaller part of our roles than other, more run-of-the-mill activities.

Meeting Dragon’s Den’s Theo Paphitis at a new shop opening

While I was working alongside some volunteers from a charity last week, someone suggested that they thought my job would make fascinating TV. Can you imagine tuning in to watch ‘A Day in the Life of Rebecca Wheeler’? I wouldn’t recommend it!
A TV show that followed a PR person around would certainly shatter some of the misconceptions about the glamour and the glitz of the job, though – particularly if they filmed me carrying mannequins, making bunting and transporting instruments in trolleys (just a few examples of the weird and wonderful things I’ve done at work in the last couple of months!).
A job that is as varied as mine is certainly something to be thankful for, but a return of docu-soap Lakesiders isn’t something I’d particularly relish… I enjoy my privacy far too much.

Using your communication skills for good

As part of my job at Lakeside, I was recently given the opportunity to spend a couple of days at a local school working as a volunteer on an arts project. Coordinated by a charity called Create, the project brought two schools together to create some music.

I’m not particularly musical so I had to draw on my communication skills to support and encourage the children, many of whom have disabilities. The music was a fantastic way of getting diverse groups to work together and the more typical methods of communication (speaking, writing…) were almost redundant once the groups got going.

Projects like this which encourage able kids to work alongside disabled kids and learn from each other are really inspiring. The final performance is taking place in the shopping centre on Thursday (during which I’ll actually be playing a couple of instruments) and I can’t wait!

If you ever have the chance to take part in a project like this one, do it! You’ll learn a lot more than you’d expect and may even develop some valuable new communication skills along the way.