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18 Dec 2017

My work placement in Marketing and Communications at Birmingham Museums Trust

Hi everyone! I’m Beth Gordon-Taylor, and I’m a second year student at the University of Birmingham. I’m currently doing a work placement in Communications with Birmingham Museums Trust (BMT) as part of my degree. 

For 7 weeks now, I have been here every Thursday learning all about the Marketing department which is situated in Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery. I wanted to undertake this placement because I enjoy being creative with words and enjoy history and the arts – therefore it seemed perfect to get some experience with Birmingham Museums! After university, I’m keen to continue exploring the world of marketing and public relations.

Press releases

Before this placement, I’d heard of the phrase ‘press release’, but I never really processed what it meant. I discovered that a press release is a document providing information, in the case of Birmingham Museums Trust, about an upcoming or past exhibition, event, or activity at the Trust to journalists hoping to put the topic online, in newspapers, or magazines. I’ve learned the ins and outs of this type of writing in my weeks here from compiling a huge variety of press releases, and in the process, learned some useful things about PR. It has been brilliant having the Trust’s PR Officer, Zoe Turton, as my supervisor on this placement for a warm and welcoming introduction to this field.

Social media

One of the things I’m most enjoying during my placement is creating social media content to promote upcoming events. I’ve written Facebook posts and tweets, and learned how to boost Facebook posts to particular demographics. It’s fun to write in a more upbeat and enthusiastic way in comparison to other pieces which might be more serious, and it means I get to look back on what I’ve done on placement any time on BMTs social media pages!

Equality and diversity

A value and goal that BMT champions constantly is equality and diversity. In the past 7 weeks I have learned how important upholding this standard is to the marketing team. I have gained an insight into their efforts towards diversifying audiences of all the BMT sites – in particular, encouraging more people of BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) backgrounds to visit and get involved with the Trust. The passion of Marketing Officers Amanda Chan and Cherelle Cunningham towards this goal has impressed and inspired me and I’m thoroughly enjoying working with them to hopefully get closer to it.

Volunteering case study

Speaking of diversity, I have recently worked on writing up a case study to be displayed on Heritage Volunteering Group’s website. It will be in the voice of Becky Fletcher, Volunteer Development Team Leader, talking about the need to diversify the volunteer teams across the BMT sites. Becky undertook a research project with the rest of her team to find out the reasons why some people weren’t volunteering with the Trust. It felt good to work on something that will hopefully reach people and inspire them to contribute to BMT.

I’m looking forward to my remaining time at Birmingham Museums Trust to learn and grow my confidence in Communications even more. It has gone by really quickly, but I’ll always remember it!

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