Saturday, 12 September 2009
I arrived at Arcadia at 10am to be greeted by Rachel (PR coordinator for Dorothy Perkins, she assigned me my first task which was to photocopy all the magazine features of Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Burton. This is because a copy of each article/feature is needed for both reports and for Sir Phillip to see. Next Tom (PR coordinator for Burton and Evans) asked me to create headers on the computer to mount the articles onto; I then had to mount all the articles onto the paper.
After this Tom and I took bags and bags of clothes down to dispatches to send to This Morning, Grazia and other such publications and programmes.
After this I went through on an excel document logging all the features in magazine and newspapers, stating what the articles name was, which publication and what items featured. This is done because Arcadia employs a media company to keep a log of all the times Arcadia features in publications; this allows Arcadia to compare what they’ve found with the media company.
I also discovered today that all Arcadia jewellery is a separate concession to Arcadia and therefore none of their PR is done through Arcadia.
My tasks were similar to the first day to begin with; I photocopied articles, guillotined them and then mounted them similar to the day before.
Today I also got taught how to log the clothes for the ‘call outs’ from places such as magazines and television programmes for photo shoots and promotion on TV. This is done through a simple process, first a label is stuck inside the clothes where you must state the season (AW/09) and then give the item a number if it does not already have one assigned, you log these details in an excel document stating who the garment is going to and describing the garment and logging the number. All this information is then copied and pasted onto a word document to send with the garments instructing the recipient on how to send them back and what they have received.
Dorothy Perkins had goodie bags worth £50 to send out to press, therefore my next task was to wrap each goodie bag, put it in a press office bag, find the address of each recipient and write it on the bag. Addresses were found on a website called Gorkana which is a media database and portal for PR and journalists. After doing this, Rachel and I made a list of each bag that was going out to ‘van man’ and took the bags down to dispatches. (The van man comes at 11am and 3pm and does deliveries, if we need a delivery out desperately or we’ve missed van man we simply order a bike to take it.)
The Yasmin Le Bon launch for Wallis was on Wednesday night, therefore Tom was sending a selection of Evans clothes to Yasmin’s daughter therefore I wrapped clothes for her to be sent so that she could choose an outfit for the launch.
I also went to the photographers to pick up images and clothes that had already been photographed and delivered clothes to be shot.
I also helped to create the goodie bags for the YLB launch for the following night.
First job of the day in the office is to go through publications and check for coverage, this is coverage of any of the Arcadia brands and competitor brands. All coverage of Arcadia brands is photocopied and given to the appropriate person, if they feel this coverage is worthwhile they will have it mounted for Sir Phillip to see.
I did similar jobs to the day before, I did many call outs and also entered line numbers into the excel document where the coverage from magazines is placed (the document I did on the first day) So that the PR team have the line numbers for items shown in the publications for customer queries.
I also assisted with preparing the press room for the YLB launch by steaming all the curtains.
I helped everyone in the office pick their outfits from the YLB collection for the launch and then I tidied the returns room as it was left in a state after being used as a dressing room!!
The duties for the rest of the weeks were very similar. Every other Friday there is a sample sale where clothes that are no longer needed for photo shoots etc are sold for £2 onwards and all proceeds are given to charity therefore one of the days we sorted out the sample cupboard, however because you go through everything you are allowed to take things you like for free!! So i came home with a bag full of clothes!
Working in the PR department gave me a real insight into how PR really works, I enjoyed myself so much and I’ve already been asked to come back next summer!
During my time at Arcadia I learnt that Sir Phillip is the office every Tuesday and Thursday. On my second week Simon Cowell was there with him, due to them starting a production label together. Pixie and Peaches Geldof were also there on a separate occasion! Arcadia is such a well known company with real strong connections with people in industry. In my last week Evans were in discussions with Chaka Khan about using her as the face of their Christmas campaign and a possibility of launching a denim range with her in the new year. There was also a massive hype about Crystal Renn and her campaign with Evans due to her rebelling against what she was once forced to be in order to be a model.
At first I was taken aback by the likes of Duncan James calling the office about the YLB launch and his guest, but as the weeks went by having the likes of Simon Cowell in the office just seemed to be normal!
Nicki the Senior PR officer also offered me a list of contacts from Look magazine who went to Nottingham Trent University, which made me realise how important contacts are.