A former DMU Journalism student has been making waves in the world of PR and marketing since leaving university.
Ben Clarke, who graduated with 2:1 last July, has been working for the Leicester branch of Aylesworth Fleming, a creative advertising and marketing agency with other offices in London, Bournemouth, Manchester, Edinburgh.
The NCTJ-accredited journalist initially began working for the firm after applying for a temporary vacancy within their PR department, advertised by his former lecturer John Dilley on a Facebook page set up for DMU Journalism graduates.
He impressed on his initial two-month stint, so much so that he was invited back shortly after to work in the marketing department.
Ben explained the variety in his two roles since starting in August: “I started off writing press releases, case studies and issuing press releases to the media.
“We specialise in house builders, so we would arrange for photographers to go to sites and take pictures, and try and get coverage in any media we can, really.
“The marketing role involves a lot of market research, a lot of traditional marketing. I’ll liaise with the client and production to see what they want doing.
“Basically, we will look at ways to change up the advertising. We’ll look at Facebook banners, advertising on emails, Google, as well as writing press releases.
“Really, just seeing where they want to advertise and what they want doing.
“Then we’ll arrange for it to be briefed to the creative team, who’ll produce something.”
In his final year, Ben was awarded the Sports Journalist of the Year award for his outstanding work on the specialist Sports Journalism module and said that the tight deadlines that come with reporting on sport helped his transition into his new career.
He said: “PR is constantly speaking to case studies and writing to deadlines.
“We have quite tight deadlines anyway, across the board in whatever department, but PR, in particular, is very tight.
“Knowing how to write in a journalistic style, with short sentences and writing many words in a short time, is very helpful.”
Ben paid testament to the course as a whole at DMU, saying “I loved university and the course itself, I really enjoyed it and the opportunities it gave me.
“For example, I worked at Leicester Tigers [Rugby Club] on an internship, and the course stood me in really good stead for going to get a job as it gave me the relevant experience of going to speak to people.
“The course was also not all the same type of journalism, it was news, sport, writing a magazine, so we got to learn how to write different ways.
“This was very helpful as it’s not all the time we’re doing stuff for newspapers, we do advertorials as well as stuff for the website which involves a lot more creative writing, so it gave me a great all-round experience to working life.”
Further to his internship, Ben also undertook a great deal of other work experience during the duration of his course, and emphasised the importance of doing so to not just stand out to potential employers, but to even help with integration into office life.
He explained: “The director of PR here used to work for the Northampton Telegraph, and there’s a big journalism-based background in our office.
“When I said I’d done work experience at the [Northampton] Chronicle and Echo, and said I’d done an internship with the Tigers, I think it really stood out.
“There’s also quite a few people interested in sport in our office so that gave us something to talk about so was good in that way as well!”