I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel my heart beat just a bit faster as I rode one of Castlemead’s many lifts to the JBP office. I had barely had time to realise exams were over before I was starting an internship at a leading PR agency. And because no one really knows what PR entails – except if they work in PR – I had no idea what to expect.
As I stepped out of the lift, I saw a sign that said “JBP: just brilliant people are behind this door”. Though at the time I smiled the smile of a young woman who had been accustomed to rather un-brilliant internships, in hindsight, the sign couldn’t have been more accurate. I pushed the door and a brilliant adventure began.
After two months at JBP, this is what I can tell you:
JBP is fast-paced, buzzing, and bubbling with creative juices. During my time there, I worked on several accounts, including SodaStream, First West of England and UKVIA. I had to learn how to slip into the clients’ shoes and to switch perspectives quasi-instantly, as my focus shifted from one client’s needs and values to the next, in order to help deliver spot-on service. No two days were the same: some days were spent scrutinising the press for clues on clients’ reputations, others were spent pitching stories to journalists, and others still raising public awareness about products and organising exciting launch parties. Although many daily tasks helped me create somewhat of a routine, flexibility and prioritising became my key words, as they do for so many in the agency world. In a nutshell: I was never bored!
Perhaps I could have learnt the same lessons at another PR agency but there is something fundamentally different about JBP, which leads me to believe the contrary. Indeed, it’s not just a cutting-edge, finger-on-the-pulse agency in terms of the quality of service delivered but also in its profound humanity. JBP wouldn’t be so successful without its brilliant people and the engaged, relaxed atmosphere they create. My colleagues were always there to offer their help and expertise but also happy to let me try and figure things out, striking the perfect balance of support and trust, constraint and space to grow. I witnessed and took part in creative brainstorms, open, efficient communication and true collaboration between all the different teams. Not only was the work I was given interesting and challenging, but the people I got to work with made my experience even more enriching, by leading with empathy, juggling so many demands with so much calm and embodying how any modern-day office should function. JBP is just what it says it is: a place of connection and disruption in the best way possible.
It is said that the true quality of a person can be assessed from how they treat not their equals, but their subordinates and as the most junior person at JBP for a couple of months, I can guarantee that everyone there is top quality.
This blog post has been written by Hannah Syed.