The truth about Apprenticeships
Ellie Brown writes...
Being paid minimum wage, not being taken seriously and endless tea-making. That’s what makes an apprenticeship. Wrong!
After countless conversations with school careers advisors, family members and peers, I came to the conclusion university wasn’t for me. I was left with one of two options: either stay in my current part time job of scanning people’s weekly shops, or enter the world of apprenticeships.
Knowing PR was the industry I wanted to progress into I researched current apprenticeship placements and discovered Genesis PR. I secured an interview, and after completing a couple of weeks’ worth of work experience and finishing my A-Level exams I was offered a PR apprenticeship – one of the first in the country.
Up until a few months before applying to Genesis I was, as I’m sure many people still are, a bit in the dark about what apprenticeships are and the benefits of them. I had a basic idea as to what I thought they were but, as I soon found out, most of these were very wrong. Due to this, in an attempt to set the record straight, I’ve listed some of the most common misconceptions when it comes to apprenticeships.
Misconception 1 - apprenticeships are for 16 year olds leaving school
- Apprenticeships are certainly advertised heavily towards school leavers but this is due to the fact when you are 16 years old you can apply for an apprenticeship for the first time. This doesn’t mean that apprenticeships are exclusively for 16 year olds. In fact, the majority of apprenticeships aren’t even available to 16 year olds due to their entry requirements.
- There are four main types of apprenticeship: intermediate (‘Level 2’ or equivalent of 5 GCSEs); advanced (‘Level 3’ or equivalent to 2 ‘A’ levels); higher level (‘Level 4’ or equivalent to a Foundation degree / 1st year of a degree course) and higher – equivalent to a full degree.
- I am currently completing a Higher Level 4 PR Apprenticeship, delivered by the industry’s professional trade body the PRCA. This includes a mix of on the job and off the job training and an outside trainer-assessor visiting regularly to progress me through it.
Misconception 2 – apprenticeships are for young people
Since 2010 the majority of apprentices have been aged 25+. Many employers are benefitting from upskilling their adult workforce through apprenticeships training.
Misconception 3 - you are used as cheap labour
If this were true, which it isn’t, it wouldn’t only be a waste of my time but a huge waste of the company’s. Genesis have provided me with the perfect opportunity to learn on the job exactly what it’s like to work in PR.
With no previous experience in the industry, I’m learning to the standard expected of Genesis and providing them with a perfect opportunity to train me from day one to work in a way that suits their business. It is highly unlikely for any company to waste an opportunity like this, especially when 96% of employers who take on an apprentice report benefits to their organisation.
Misconception 4 - you are seen as less able than everybody else
It is without a doubt that the Genesis team are fully aware I am an apprentice. But this is certainly not a bad thing – far from it, in fact.
I can honestly say that since starting at Genesis I have never been treated any differently to anybody else in the team. With that in mind I have also never been made to feel as though I’m expected to know everything after only six months working in the industry.
Genesis have the perfect balance of treating you like a professional whilst always being aware that certain tasks may require additional help or explaining.
Misconception 5 - if you are an Apprentice you must have failed University
Believe it or not I chose not to go to university and instead apply for the PR apprenticeship instead.
For me, university wasn’t essential and the fact I didn’t have a degree wasn’t going to hold me back in the industry I want to progress in. I was willing to pay literally thousands of pounds to spend the next 3-4 years of my life studying for a degree that would potentially aid me in securing a job in PR.
Therefore, when I discovered I could jump straight into the job role, not end up in debt but instead earn money, for me personally there was an obvious choice.
I hope this short blog has helped clear up a few of the misunderstandings surrounding apprenticeships and, in a time when it is statistically more likely to be accepted into Oxford University than it is to be offered an apprenticeship at BT, I think it’s time we changed the way apprenticeships are viewed and start to properly look at the facts.
Hello. Welcome to Genesis.
As an award-winning PR agency in Ipswich, Suffolk, we offer a full range of services to promote awareness of your brands. Our expertise takes in everything from PR, reputation and media relations to social and digital channels, SEO and press office services.
PR, Social and Digital
We start by understanding your goals
Digital and social media have changed the media landscape completely and our expertise includes traditional PR techniques, which are still very relevant today, as well as the new opportunities of social media marketing.
Our approach is to develop the PR strategy and tactics which directly support our clients’ aims and objectives. We begin by understanding what it is they want to achieve and immerse ourselves in their business and markets before combining the right channels and platforms in the PR plan.
To prove our effectiveness and to further develop and enhance campaigns, we provide month by month reporting and analysis, evaluating campaigns and providing the return on investment on which our strong client partnerships are based.
Insightful and strategic, we take time to understand what makes our clients tick before devising the right PR strategies, campaigns and programmes which support their goals.
Our approach embeds sound advice and workable strategies with creative ideas and pragmatic delivery. All from a highly professional PR team.
Proactive, news savvy and timely, we know how to make a good story, whatever the target media. We identify the news angles, generate the right content and create the coverage which forms the foundation of great PR.As well as national, trade and specialist media (print and digital) we are also PR specialists in delivering UK-wide coverage into local and regional media titles.
Social, digital and SEO
We integrate creative social and digital PR with strategic SEO to maximise our clients' online visibility and audience engagement. Our expertise is in creating the content and using social and digital channels to spark interactions and conversations which sustain interest and help build relationships and brand reputation.
Our social and digital campaigns can be standalone or integrated with traditional PR and press office activities.
We build reputations by increasing our clients’ visibility and their share of voice in their market, increasing earned media mentions online and offline.
Our thought leadership PR focuses on building our clients’ credibility as authoritative spokespersons on the subjects which matter most. We make it our business to understand the topics and trends which are the talking points and use our expertise to make our clients the ‘go-to’ source for comment.
Press office management
The Genesis press office service supports each client with a highly efficient and responsive operation with agreed protocols for each client’s media enquiry management.
As well as reactive handling of media calls we are always proactive in identifying additional opportunities which arise daily from the breaking news agenda.
Influencing your stakeholders’ perception is at the core of good reputation management. We help our clients to analyse stakeholders, manage relationships and engage with the right people in the most effective way, influencing opinions and creating positive brand image.
Public affairsWe make it our business to understand the changing face of local and national politics and how this affects our clients. We advise on, create and implement public affairs programmes which influence political agendas, build positive relations and change hearts and minds. Our public affairs expertise is at every level.
Reputation ManagementWe closely monitor and analyse how clients are perceived through the media and advise on the strategies and plans to address reputational issues. Our expertise includes managing negative and sensitive issues and creating positive PR to help repair client reputations where trust has been lost.
Event ManagementOur event management expertise includes large scale (350+ people) conferences, corporate events and awards ceremonies. We deliver the end-to-end solution from event creative and planning to speakers, stage management and speech writing. Our PR for clients also frequently includes smaller scale customer events including (for the healthcare sector) patient engagement events.
Crisis managementIf things go wrong for our clients, we provide the PR advice and expertise to help them navigate their way through the issue and minimise reputational damage. Our crisis management service offers a strategic approach based on a tested framework of procedures, templates and training.
SEO Specialist ServiceWith our experience and expertise in PR and social media marketing we are best placed to create the digital content which will maximise links, gain brand exposure and drive traffic to your website. We work with our SEO specialists to deliver strategies for our clients that achieve sustainable ‘page 1’ search engine rankings.
Creative and designOur print and online graphic design studio is part of our full agency marketing and public relations service. We offer creative communications solutions that deliver impact and cut-through, from brand design, websites and brochureware to magazines and corporate reports, blending impactful copy writing with stunning design to deliver excellent results.
We go beyond the expected to get our clients into the news
Our business-to-business team provides expert corporate public relations, helping private and public sector organisations to reach and engage with business audiences or influence debate amongst opinion formers and key influencers.
We provide a PR agency service which goes beyond the expected to get our clients into the news, creating the media exposure to build brand awareness and reputation, as well as drive enquires and sales. We are highly effective in distilling complex issues into compelling PR strategies which achieve the desired outcomes.
For clients with a UK-wide network, or representation in specific regions, we have particular expertise in creating and delivering PR campaigns to engage local business audiences and raise awareness through targeted regional media relations.
Sector experience includes:
Grant Thornton is the UK’s fifth largest accountancy firm and we deliver PR for them across the East of England and East Midlands. Our campaigns to maximise PR for their ‘Limited’ initiatives generated extensive broadcast and business press coverage which has positioned Grant Thornton as an authority on their target mid-sized business segment. New client wins and new quality prospects with good probability of conversion are achieved.
“Genesis PR works hard to squeeze every last drop of PR out of each of our Limited initiatives, ensuring we gain maximum possible coverage to help reinforce our market position as the region’s leading advisory firm. Their work has raised the profile of the events to unparalleled levels providing an invaluable boost to our business development.”
OFTEC is the UK’s trade body and authoritative voice for the oil heating industry. The PR campaigns we created in 2013/14 promoted the OFTEC name and what it stands for, and pre-empted the Government’s green announcements with hard-hitting, factual counter-arguments for national media. Our constant source of authoritative news stories, opinion pieces and comment is targeted to relevant trade and consumer media.
“Genesis’ work and outputs have undoubtedly contributed to some key business objectives. Their extensive coverage in regional media has directly supported an uplift of new boiler sales of nearly 10% year-on-year, while their actions in national media, we believe, has gone a long way towards neutralising publicity on new Government schemes which pose a significant threat to our industry.”
We created a set of activities for 220 local Regus business centres to promote the Regus network and build the reputation of Regus centres as the flexible workplace which frees businesses to work more effectively. As well as gaining substantial media coverage, the activities brought in fresh footfall and helped create and build relationships with other businesses and organisations in their local areas.
“Genesis PR came to us with the concept of using community activities as a way of raising the profile of our 220 UK business centres in local media. They delivered three timely and highly effective campaigns which directly contributed to heightening the awareness of the Regus brand and our network, as well as delivering fresh footfall into our centres with, no doubt, many new customer sign-ups. The team worked highly proactively and tirelessly to ensure these campaigns were a success.”
UK and EMEA PR and
Creative ideas and strategies which work
We help businesses, community interest companies, charities and public sector organisations to engage with consumer audiences. We help clients to connect, inform and engage with their customers and deliver campaigns UK-wide as well as to specific regions or audiences.
Sector experience includes:
We worked directly with 40 Ford car dealerships to build their profile and reputation in their local markets. This PR won the ‘Best Automotive Campaign’ at the 2012 CIPR Excellence Awards. The strategy involved a group-wide CSR programme of activities that created news stories that could be replicated easily across all dealerships to generate widespread local coverage. In 12 months we generated 1,161 items of local/regional media with 46.6 million Opportunities to See. 98% of coverage included at least two key messages.
“Genesis PR works very proactively to gain significant positive media exposure. We are impressed with how they instigate PR activities which directly contribute to our strategic objectives.”
(ex) Chairman & CEO,
We created and implemented the stakeholder engagement and communications strategy for the launch of NEEDS, a new NHS integrated diabetes service in North East Essex. This effectively built awareness and understanding of the new service and engaged patients to directly help shape the final service delivery plan. Tactics involved face-to-face patient engagement, the leveraging of partners and stakeholders, support for patient forums and the use of social media as part of an integrated PR and marketing plan.
“Genesis PR took the NEEDS service from early concept stage to successful launch in a highly cost effective way. Their excellent feedback and evaluation report is being used to demonstrate how we listened and acted on the ideas of patients.”
Chief Executive, Suffolk GP
Commissioned by Suffolk County Council, Live Well Suffolk is the county-wide healthy lifestyles service aimed at reducing smoking prevalence and obesity across the county’s population. A programme of integrated campaigns has included ‘Where’s the sugar monster?’ which engaged 5-11 year-olds and their parents by targeting primary schools. The campaign raised awareness of the hidden dangers of sugar and generated 105 enquiries to Live Well Suffolk’s child weight management service as well as 15 press and radio items.
“Genesis has supported us fantastically. They provide top class support in developing and managing branding, websites, marketing and PR campaigns.”
Flexible, responsive and dependable
Genesis PR provides a PR and marketing service that is strategic and hands-on; passionate, dedicated and always committed to delivering the best we can by going the extra mile.
Who we are
One of the top PR agencies in East Anglia, we are amongst the most dedicated and friendly PR companies you’ll meet.
Based near Ipswich in Suffolk we work with national and regional clients in corporate PR, business-to-business PR and consumer engagement. Our PR services are comprehensive and we have been recognised with numerous awards.
How we work
Our client relationships begin with us immersing ourselves in their business, goals, markets, customers and stakeholders.
We then work creatively to develop programmes and campaigns with ‘cut-through’ and which deliver the client’s desired outcomes. Our PR consultancy has a genuine desire to do the best for each client we work with. Being proactive, flexible and responsive, we work as an extension to in-house resource.
We’re always on the lookout for bright and enthusiastic people who have a nose for a good story and can rub along with a great team of like-minded individuals. If you think you’d make a great addition to the Genesis team then drop us a line with an introductory letter and your CV.
Please see here for our latest vacancy or at the bottom of the page for our careers section.
Meet the team
Senior Account Manager
Senior Digital Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
Senior Account Manager
Senior Digital Account Executive
Join a great team!
At Genesis we create an environment where all of our team can flourish in their careers whilst making a valuable contribution to our business and our wider community.
Training and development is provided both on and off the job and we have created our own PR Induction programme for employees new to the industry. Our employee perks include free CIPR membership so everyone can make full use of the CPD and online training content which is available from our professional membership body.
Our team likes the fact that we actively support local charities. They also enjoy our bi-monthly team lunches at a local pub – on the company - and the nice bottle of wine on their birthday. To top it all everyone gets a bottle of champagne for each new client win!
Do we sound like an interesting and rewarding company to work for?
If so, please in the first instance apply with a personal letter of introduction and attach your up-to-date CV. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current Positions -
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Use of your information and your preferences
We will use your information to provide and personalise our service. We will also use your contact details to communicate with you. We may use your information to send you news about Genesis PR Ltd. services or those of other carefully selected companies which we think may be of interest to you. We may contact you by post, email, telephone or fax for these purposes.
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Please note that there may be instances where it may be necessary for us to communicate with you, in any event, for administrative or operational reasons relating to our service.
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Some of our current and previous clients:
(ex) Ford Retail
“Genesis PR squeezes every last drop of PR out of each opportunity, ensuring we gain maximum possible coverage to help reinforce our market position.”
“Genesis has taken the Social Worker of the Year Awards to new heights, securing the support of Ministers, recruiting corporate partners and winning new sponsors.”
Sanctuary Social Care
“Genesis PR took our service from early concept stage to successful launch in a highly cost effective way.”
Suffolk GP Federation
“Genesis had a direct positive impact on the way we engaged with our service users in a meaningful way, ensuring their voice was not only heard but acted upon.”
NE Essex Clinical
“We needed a local PR company with great contacts, an understanding of the local media landscape and a passion for our brand. We chose Genesis PR.”
“What impressed me was the very creative way Genesis PR generated opportunities which wouldn’t ordinarily have been there. The publicity met our objectives.”
Suffolk County Council
Please get in touch. We'd love the opportunity to discuss your PR requirements.
+44 (0)1473 326400
- RT @PaulBrackleyCI: Here are the top 100 companies in Cambridgeshire - and analysis of how the county is faring https://t.co/Fwn7glKun0 #Caâ€¦
- Pleased to support #client @GrantThorntonUK on today's #CambsLtd event, thank you @PaulBrackleyCI for attending andâ€¦ https://t.co/1ToQ7a7CSI
- We look forward to exhibiting at @woodbridgesch Careers Fair on Saturday! Come along and find out more about careerâ€¦ https://t.co/29HxcKZft1
- The John Lewis #Christmas ad has arrived! What do you think of #MozTheMonster? Big blockbuster campaigns are costinâ€¦ https://t.co/y2Bvh5TiY8
- RT @BBCNews: The BBC News website was launched 20 years ago â€” here's how it's changed https://t.co/7CIwAbB3qZ https://t.co/uWQbU7IM5A
- BBC Local Radio is vital for boosting creativity and reflecting the voice of the community. We're pleased to hear tâ€¦ https://t.co/3WDMhOd33t
- We were delighted to welcome our long-term #client and leading training & #apprenticeships provider @SkillsTrain_UKâ€¦ https://t.co/oNfLwsPxlP
- RT @BBCTech: Twitter to expand 280-character tweets https://t.co/53DStG0JO3
- In our new #blog post, Snr Digital Account Manager Ruby shares her top take-away tips from @brightonseo. Read âžˇď¸Źâ€¦ https://t.co/HMuu6RRfe1
- We're pleased to support @isbclub & their upcoming #business event with Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer https://t.co/lMswu9BNSh
Posted on: 16th Nov, 2017
We look forward to exhibiting at this year's Woodbridge School Careers Fair 2017! Come along and find out more about #careers in PR and digital.
Posted on: 10th Nov, 2017
The John Lewis Christmas ad has arrived! What do you think of #MozTheMonster? Big blockbuster campaigns are costing brands more and more, with a record ÂŁ6bn spent on festive advertising this year!
Posted on: 8th Nov, 2017
We were delighted to welcome our long-term #client and leading training & #apprenticeships provider Skills Training UK to our office in Ipswich today!
Posted on: 7th Nov, 2017
In our new #blog post, Senior Digital Account Manager Ruby shares her top take-away tips from Brighton SEO. Read âžˇď¸Ź http://bit.ly/2zrk47E
Posted on: 6th Nov, 2017
Posted on: 19th Oct, 2017
Posted on: 10th Oct, 2017
Account Manager Tim shares some advice on managing reputations in a crisis. Catch up on our latest #blog post here... http://genesispr.co.uk/blog/reputation-management-during-a-crisis-/show