How do I gain work experience?

There are many, many ways to get media work experience. Here are my five top tips for getting that prized placement…

Utilise your personal contacts
So your Dad says his childhood best friend goes on an annual fishing trip with the Head of Sales and Marketing at a large magazine company? Well there’s an opportunity too good to resist. Think of everybody as your possible connection to your dream job. Don’t be afraid to ask around and see if anyone has any friends who might be able to help you. You might not be able to blag yourself work experience but any advice from people working where you want to work is sure to be invaluable.
Where it worked for me: The National Magazine Company

Apply through advertised work experience schemes
Often large companies will advertise placements on their own websites. These are normally fiercely competitive and don’t be surprised if you apply and never hear back. Media jobs sites such as Gorkana and Media Nation UK will also list placements regularly, as will specific placement sites such as RateMyPlacement so it’s worth favouriting these sites and checking them daily.

Send out emails/letters/calls
Just because a company doesn’t advertise work experience on their website, it does not mean that they don’t offer it. Send an email to the Editor with your CV and remember to tailor your cover letter to each individual placement – in my experience this definitely makes a difference. Letters may seems old fashioned but they’re becoming a bit of a novelty so it might be a way to distinguish yourself from an inbox full of work experience enquiries.
Where it worked for me: Grand Designs Magazine

Approach people at events
Networking is a vital skill for all media workers. Attend events that are relevant to your chosen career and put your networking skills into practice. Lots of magazines run events specifically for networking (Stylist and Marie Claire are great examples), whilst magazine staff will often be at industry events and consumer shows. For example, if you wanted to get some work experience on a Food or Travel magazine then go along to BBC Good Food Show or Masterchef Live and there’s sure to be staff from the likes of Delicious or Good Food who may be able to offer you some advice.
Where it worked for me: Food & Travel Magazine, Manchester Confidential

Use Twitter
You were waiting for this to come up, weren’t you? There are two main ways I’d suggest using Twitter to gain work experience. Firstly, through networking with staffers and forming an online relationship before pitching yourself for a placement. Or alternatively, magazines and production companies will often tweet if they need extra help with upcoming projects. I know More Magazine have been known to offer immediate start placements on their Pictures Desk through social media and plenty of other sites will often tweet when they need a work experiencer. Search ‘#intern’ or ‘#internship’ and you never know what you might come across. Also, remember to keep an eye on my list of Work Experience tweeters – they could tweet that perfect opportunity you’ve been waiting for.
Where it worked for me: Ethical Heaven, More Than The Music

What are your best tips? Leave your comments for other aspiring interns below!

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Public Relations Companies

PR companies go hand in hand with Journalists. Love them or hate them, they’re the people who control a lot of what is written about. Some simply tweet their latest projects, others interact more and offer a greater insight into the world of PR. Here are some of the big names in the industry…

33 Digital – Consumer, Digital
3×1 – Consumer, Food, Retail, Leisure, Travel, Environmental

Anorak – Music
APR – Lifestyle
Atom – Homes, Interest, Gardens, Leisure
Azaria – Family
Babel – Technology, Media, Telecoms
Bay Tree – Homes, Gardens, Lifestyles, Interiors
Beauty Seen – Beauty
Beam – Technology, Gadgets, Toys
Beattie – Education, Environment, Food & Drink, Healthcare, Property, Retail, Social Media, Transport
Bite – Consumer
Bottle – Consumer, Corporate
Bottom Line – Consumer
Boudoir – Fashion, Health, Beauty
Brando World – Consumer
Brands2Life – Consumer, B2B, Corporate, Digital, Technology
Brave – Consumer
Bright One – Charity, Non-Profit, Community Ventures
Bright Young Things – Ethical, Voluntary, Public Sector
Bryan Morel – Fashion
Buffalo – Consumer, B2B
Chameleon – Technology
Champion – Digital, Media, Technology
Clear Comms – Consumer
Consolidated – Consumer, Corporate, Politcal, Digital
Covert – Music, Fine Art, Fashion
Cow – Consumer
Division – Music
Elemental – Consumer
Eloqui – Consumer
Essence – Lifestyle, Fashion, Food, Drink, TV, Film
Fever – Consumer
Fire – Consumer
Firefly – Consumer
Flavour – Food, Drink
Grayling – Consumer, Beauty, Food, Drink, Property, Travel, Leisure
Hall or Nothing – Music, Events
Halpern – Fashion, Beauty, Homes, Lifestyle
House – Digital, Entertainment
Iroquois – Fashion
Kaizo – Technology
Kaper – Consumer, Lifestyle
Kazoo – Consumer
Lewis – Digital, Technology, Consumer
Lexis – Consumer, Music, Sports, Health, Corporate
Limelight – B2B, Digital, Events
Lucre – Consumer
M&C Saatchi – Luxury Consumer, B2B
Man Bites Dog – B2B
The Media Foundry – Consumer, Corporate
Modus – Fashion, Beauty, Lifestyle
Mustard – Technology, Mobile
Neil Reading – Entertainment, Chefs, Hotels
Octane – Consumer
One – Consumer
Owl Marketing – Consumer
Palamedes – Music, Fashion, Tourism, Books
Purple (Beauty) – Beauty
Purple (Music) – Music
Quite Great – Music, Entertainment, Retail
Rabbit – Social Media, Consumer
RAI – Consumer Electronics
Ranieri – Technology
RelativeMO – Fashion, Lifestyle
Rooster – Travel, Lifestyle
Seventy Nine – Consumer
Six Degrees – Technology
Skywrite – Consumer
Spada – Professional, Business, Legal, Financial
Spark – Technology
Speed Communications – Consumer, Corporate, Technology
Spreckley Partners – Consumer, Financial, B2B, IT
Storm – Food, Drink, Lifestyle, Exhibitions, Health, Packaging
Supersonic – Entertainment
Sweet – Health, Wellbeing, Beauty
Taylor Herring – Celebrity
Threepipe – Consumer, B2B
Truffle – Lifestyle, Social Media
Umpf – Social Media, Retail, Travel, Homes
We Are Social – Social Media, Digital, Consumer
Whiteoaks – Technology, IT, Telecoms
Wolfstar – Social Media, Consumer
Workitmedia – Music

As there are so many PR agencies out there, this list is very much a work in progress. Keep checking back to see the latest additions.

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#journorequest and #prrequest

In The Basics II, I mentioned hashtags and how they can be overused and lose any impact they were ever intended to have. This is so often the case, but there are two hashtags in particular that are great for journalists.

Both #journorequest and #prrequest allow for Journalists and PRs to interact with each other productively. The former seems much more active and it’s main usage is by journalists looking for case studies or products for articles that they’re writing.

The hashtag was originally started by @SarahEwing and certainly seems to have taken off with at least a hundred tweets being sent with the hashtag daily.

So how can you get involved with the hashtag? Well, firstly it highlights a lot of features writers on Twitter who might be worth a follow. And secondly, you might be able to help out a journalist – maybe you are the case study that they’ve been searching for. Sometimes they’ll be money on offer for case studies, other times it’ll just be a great opportunity to learn about being part of a story.

I once replied to a request from a Masters student looking for case studies for her dissertation to have their social media profiles analysed by professionals. In return for simply sending her links to my profiles, I got some really great feedback about my online presence and how to improve it to make me look more professional.

Most of the time the hashtags are just used for the aforementioned reason of finding case studies, or by PRs pitching new products, but there are occasionally other surprise uses for it too. The other day I genuinely saw a job advertised with the hashtag being used to attract the right crowd.

I follow both these hashtags on Tweetdeck but they’re easy to look at on the web platform of Twitter too. Simply search #journorequest and then select ‘all’ to see what everyone is looking for. Do the same for #prrequest and you’re all set.

You never know, you might even be able to use it to find the perfect case studies for a feature you’re pitching.

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Food and Drink Magazines

There’s a lot of freelancing that goes on in the Food and Drink Journalism sector. Just because someone’s listed under one heading, doesn’t mean they don’t contribute to another. Breaking into the industry is tough, but most of this lot have managed to secure coveted staff position. These guys definitely know their onions…

4Food
Lauren Bravo – Food Writer
Claire Dodd – Freelancer for 4Food/The Guardian

BBC Good Food
Katy Truss – Fine Food Finder for BBC Good Food Show

Delicious
Karen Barnes – Editor
Lizzie Kamenetzky – Food Editor
Sarah Simpson – Editorial Assistant
Suzy Atkins – Wine Editor
Marina O’Louglin – Restaurant Critic

Food & Travel
Alex Mead – Editor

The Guardian
Oliver Thring – Food Writer
Jay Rayner – Food Writer and One Show Presenter

MSN Food
Craig Butcher – Editor

Observer Food Monthly
Allan Jenkins – Editor
Gareth Grundy – Deputy Editor

Olive
Lulu Grimes – Food Director

Sainsbury’s Magazine
Helena Lang – Editor
Sarah Randall – Food Director

The Times
Giles Coren – Food Writer/Columnist

Miscellaneous
Olly Smith – Saturday Kitchen’s Wine Guy
Gizzi Erskine – TV personality and Food Writer
Guild of Food Writers – Professional Association of  Food Writers
Jamie Magazine – Jamie Oliver’s Magazine

This is obviously an ongoing list that is constantly being updated so keep checking back.

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The Basics II

Mentions

To mention someone in a tweet, simply type @ in front of their username. If you do this at the beginning of a tweet then it’ll only appear in the timelines of people who follow you both, do it anywhere else in the tweet and it will appear in all of your followers’ timelines.

A tweet that mentions you will, unsurprisingly, appear in your ‘@Mentions’ column.

Lists

Lists are one of those things that you are either into, or you never use. Basically, they’re a way of creating a timeline full of tweets from a particular group of people. You’ll often find people listed under categories such as ‘Journalists’, or more personal lists such as ‘Friends’. Lists can be viewed under ‘Lists’ from the Twitter homepage or can appear in a column on downloadable browsers such as Tweetdeck.

Hashtags

Hashtags are often over-used in tweets. #You don’t #need to #hashtag every #other word. This only serves to lose the effect of a hashtag in the first place. In a similar way to the List function, hashtags are a way of creating a timeline full of people talking about one particular thing. This could be a TV show (eg #apprentice) or a way of sharing news with others about a particular issue (eg #ukriots). By clicking on a word with a hashtag, Twitter will filter through all tweets that have been sent by people who don’t have private profiles and collaborate them into one list.

Two useful hashtags to be aware of if you want to get into Journalism are #journorequest and #prrequest. I’m sure I’ll write about these again in more detail, but for now just keep them in mind.

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Glossy Magazine Journalists

What is an Art Director and what does being a Features Editor involve? These Tweeters already know as they’re already in those positions…

Company
Victoria White – Editor
Emma Justice – Deputy Editor
Sophie Qureshi – Beauty Editor
Clare Gill – Web Editor
Tracy Ramsden – Commissioning Editor
Marie-Claire Dorking – Features Editor
Samantha Flowers – Beauty Writer

Cosmopolitan
Louise Court – Editor
Fiona Cowood – Features Director
Lizzi Hosking – Entertainment Director
Inge van Lotringen – Beauty Director
Shelly Vella – Fashion Director
Sairey Stemp – Fashion Editor
Pat McNulty – Web Editor
Jacqui Meddings – Assistant Celebrity Editor
Rosie Mullender – Senior Features Writer
Charlotte Pennington – Fashion Manager
Clare Smith – Junior Fashion Stylist
Kat Perriam – Features Writer
Cassie Powney – Beauty Assistant 

Elle
Jennifer Dickinson – Acting Editor
Emma Smith – Beauty Director
Tom Macklin – Entertainment Director
Alice Wignall – Features Director
Bonnie Rakhit – Market Editor
Sophie Gridley – Junior Sub-Editor
Amy Lawrenson – Beauty Writer
Suzanne Scott – Beauty Writer

Glamour
Jo Elvin – Editor
James Conrad Williams – Associate Editor
Alessandra Steinherr – Beauty Director
Vicki Norton – Beauty & Lifestyle Editor
Scarlett Russell – Feautures and Entertainment Writer
Philippa Pearne – Beauty Writer
Sarah Jossel – Beauty Assistant

Grazia
Jane Bruton – Editor
Hattie Brett – Assistant Editor
Lily-Maud Russo – Shopping Editor

Harper’s Bazaar
Lucy Yeomans – Editor
Katy Young – Deputy Health and Beauty Editor 

Heat
Lucie Cave – Editor
Boyd Hilton – TV and Reviews Editor
Ellen Kerry – Style Writer
Jo Hoare – Star Style Editor
Giselle Wainwright – Editorial Assistant 

Hello!
Nadine Baggott – Beauty Editor

InStyle
Eilidh MacAskill – Editor
Victoria Moss – Fashion Features Editor
Natalie Hartley – Senior Fashion Editor
Adele Chidwick – Art Director
Robyn Kotze – Senior Fashion Assistant
Annabelle Spranklin – Web Assistant

Look
Sophie Beresiner – Beauty Editor
Gemma Calvert – Entertainment Editor
Hannah Eichler – Fashion Assistant
Lara Lain – Marketing Executive
Samantha Freedman – Beauty Assistant
Gemma Gow – Fashion News Assistant 

Marie Claire
Tanya Semikoz – Executive Fashion Editor
Lisa Oxenham – Beauty & Style Director

Jessica Hough – Beauty Writer
Cassie Steer – Beauty Writer
Lucia Debieux – Junior Fashion Editor
Justine Southall – Publishing Director 

Now
Karen Buglass – Fashion Director
Charmian Harris – Beauty Director

Psychologies
Louise Chunn – Editor
Emine Ali Rushton – Beauty Director
Emily Phillips – Entertainment Editor

Red
Sam Baker – Editor
Saska Graville – Deputy Editor
Jennifer Woods – Sub-Editor
Lindsay Frankel – Features Director
Nicola Rose – Fashion and Creative Director
Mary Norden – Interior and Food Director
Brigid Moss – Health Director
Alex Stedman – Senior Fashion Assistant

You
Amy Williams – Commissioning Editor
Sinead O’Connell – Junior Fashion Editor
Natalia Bagniewska – Fashion Assistant
Bella Blissett – Beauty Columnist
Bella Blissett – Beauty Columnist

This is obviously an ongoing list that is constantly being updated so keep checking back.

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Careers Advice

Everyone on Twitter has some advice to give, but these guys are particularly helpful.

Career Cake
Creative Boom
CV4TV
Guardian Careers

Guardian Jobs
Manchester Media Club
Prospects 

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