Discussion of a communication Apprentice, understanding the role of Public Relations. Also gives an insight into working in France.

Role: PR and Communication Assistant
Department: Marketing & Operations (M&O)
Location: Microsoft France, Paris

Hi guys,
I am Juliette, 21 years old, working as a PR and Communications assistant. Let me describe my job at Microsoft France.

My background.

After completing a 2 years degree in Management, Law and Economics at the University Paris-Dauphine, I decided to jump right into working by doing my last year of Bachelor in Business Administration as an apprentice.
My previous experiences were in the aircraft Industry, banking and Communications for a theatre production. I have always been fond of digital and new technologies. Therefore, I took the amazing opportunity to work as a PR and Communication Assistant at Microsoft France.

‘I decided to jump right into working by doing my last year of Bachelor in Business Administration as an apprentice’

What is PR ?

Public Relations is all about reputation, influence and storytelling. It is very different from Marketing. It’s goal is to create a positive sentiment about a company among influencers. The notion of influencer is continually evolving. It includes journalists, bloggers but broadly anyone who can influence others behaviors by endorsing our technologies. In order to target the variety of influencers and communities, PR activities are incredibly wide and varied. Among these are: social media management, press and influencers events organization, products seeding, spokesperson training, press and social media crisis management and market watch and reporting.

What do I do as a PR Assistant?

As a PR assistant, I help the PR team in all their missions.
This job is an incredible opportunity to develop your knowledge about the IT industry and especially Microsoft’s activities. I have 4 managers, each leading a particular scope. Therefore, I have a full picture of what Microsoft businesses are and am collaborating with many divisions. I also work with the Internal Communications team and 2 PR agencies, which are an extended team. This plurality of contributors is a constant source of learning and input about the business and the work industry in general.

To be more specific, these are a few examples of my missions:
I am in charge of the PR performance tools management. I analyze the favorability of the media landscape toward Microsoft France, the share of voice on digital topics and recap the main competitors’ media coverages. As an editor of the Microsoft Press website, I take care of the design, technical setup and editorial of Microsoft products pages. I also provide daily enhance of the website and collaborate with the support team in Beyrouth. This mission was indeed the opportunity to learn how to code in HTML. Another mission of a PR Assistant is the management of the products seeding program to journalists and influencers.
Content production is also part of my scope. It includes the creation of headers, visuals and messages for the News Center and social media.

Personality test, are you made to be a PR ?

If you have the following skills, working at PR might be a source of professional accomplishment (and serious fun).

Curiosity :
As a PR at Microsoft, you must be aware of tech and social trends and issues. If you are a curious person, Public Relations will be an incredible opportunity to continuously feed your interest for new technologies.

Creativity :
Public Relations is about drawing attention and being remembered in a positive way. Therefore, it is important to renew targeting strategies to be innovative and to impact communities. Even as an intern, you are a valuable source of proposals. Being a PR intern is the opportunity to participate in incredible, fun and memorable projects.

Running for speed :
Last minute announcements and unexpected news are daily routine. You should cope well under pressure. Be ready for anything and keep your head cool !

Communication skills :
Public Relations are, of course, based on relationships. It is important to be confident talking to a wide range of people, from Microsoft Business teams to journalists and being able to write and tell Microsoft stories.


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