My blog helped me into Weber Shandwick and L’Oréal

About the author

Lucy Hayball was 2017 #bestPRblogs winner while studying at Bournemouth University. She now works in beauty PR.

Lucy while at Bournemouth University

My blog came about as a way for me to share my thoughts and experiences as a PR student. Looking back, it was quite a sporadic decision but I wanted something to show when looking for internships and something that made me a bit different than the 30 other students on my course.

I can honestly say I don’t think I really considered where it could go or that PR student blogging was a ‘thing’ until Richard got in touch about the competition. Since that moment, Marcel Klebba and Orlagh Shanks quickly became my biggest inspirations and I’m sure that those of you who have been here for a while won’t find that surprising. I wanted to have a blog that was the same calibre as theirs and have the people reading their writing, reading mine.  

You only have to start blogging and getting involved with the competition to see and reap the benefits.

From the minute Richard discovered my blog, I was instantly exposed to some huge names in the PR industry and could see my writing improving with each post.

My network was growing with each mention and to this day, is something I am so very proud of.  And if that wasn’t enough, after winning the competition in 2017, the CEO of Weber Shandwick directly invited me in for an internship. That kind of thing doesn’t happen every day but proves the point that hard work really does pay off. Not only that, but I genuinely enjoyed writing each and every post. It became a welcome distraction from University and I was learning so much about the industry. That’s not to say it was easy. From coming up with new ideas to interviewing people, it all takes time and was tough at times to keep it all going but I’m so proud I did.

Living the PR life

I think I always knew I wanted to end up working in PR, just wasn’t quite sure on the industry and city. With limited experience, it can all seem a bit daunting and a lot to take in which is one of the many reasons why I chose a sandwich degree.

I remember travelling up to London in the spring of my first year to attend a careers in PR conference with the hope of finding out more about the opportunities – it was here where I met someone from Frank and got my summer internship. I think I just presumed that I would end up in consumer PR – I wanted to try beauty but didn’t think I’d ever ‘make it’. That was clearly proved wrong when I was offered a placement year at L’Oréal and the place where I fell in love with Beauty PR. 

Three years of experience later and I’m still very much in Beauty PR and loving the industry just as much as I did four years ago. 

I would absolutely be lying if I said blogging didn’t help, I think anyone who takes part in this competition takes something from it. I have strongly said from day one, your time at University is what you make it. I’m a very driven person and the blog was a stepping stone in the process into a graduate role. It got me into the doors of Weber Shandwick and helped me to show my industry knowledge to the powers at L’Oréal.

Since leaving, I’ve lost count of the future interns and prospective interns who have contacted me through my blog, asking for advice on the placement program and interviews. It helped me build my confidence, set me apart from my peers and introduced me to people I might not have spoken to before. It moulded me into the PR I am today and taught me more than I can possibly write here. It’s a bittersweet feeling as I took my blog offline earlier this year and whilst it doesn’t exist anymore, it will always be something I am incredibly proud of.

I currently work as a PR Executive for a number of beauty brands at an agency in West London. Since joining the team two years ago I’ve worked on numerous communications strategies across EMEA markets, planned countless events including supporting one Paris Fashion Week and even got to travel a couple of times (clearly pre-covid!).

Working in PR means no two days are the same so I could be doing anything from pitching a new launch into key press titles to spending countless hours packing boxes to discovering new digital brand voices….it really does vary but that’s what I love. I’ve had some of my greatest achievements in my graduate role and feel so lucky to have worked / work on such amazing brands. I can’t wait to see where the future takes me and what is to come.

My tips for today’s students

Network, get experience and take every opportunity. 

My network is one of my biggest achievements, with contacts in tech to finance to beauty it’s something I’ve really enjoyed building. I’ve interviewed comms people at Netflix and Frank to get their advice and learnings. I’ve learnt more than I can possibly say from people I’ve come into contact with. Some of those who I met at my very first internship are people I still massively look up to. You don’t know where your next opportunity will come from.  

Get experience – this kind of links into the above but try different industries and opportunities. You don’t know what you might like until you try it so why not give it a go. Each bit of experience has built me up to the person I am today.   

Take every opportunity….that one speaks for itself.