During the autumn I had a 6 month internship at Polhem PR in Helsinki. As many know I’ve always loved fashion and clothes and the internship is a great opportunity to get an overview of the industry. Unfortunately fashion is a quite small business in Finland compared to the other Nordic countries, and therefore there aren’t much pr work done for companies. I really loved working at the pr office, and I learned a lot! Okay so let’s get started, I begun my internship at quite a good time as first of all I got to work with Pinja, which is nowadays a very good friend of mine and the office was moving to a new space, and there was a press day, fashion show and events . As the blogger Johanna Piispa once told me when we discussed about pr, is that pr is “pakkaamista ja roudaamista”, so in other words packing and moving. I could not agree more with that statement, that is pretty much what pr is in practice. The purpose of pr companies and showrooms are to lend samples to press and to get visibility for the customers to the media through blogs, magazines and social media.
At Polhem PR there were really great brands such as Gina Tricot, Lindex, Zalando, Lexington, Björn Borg and many interior design brands. During my first month my main task was to register new clothes to the online registry, register stylist and journalist loans and returns, steaming clothes, uploading pictures to image banks and run on errands. The day to day tasks were focused on maintaining the showroom and making sure the press loans gets to the journalists.
So, the first months were quite hectic because of the move, it included a lot of bubble wrap, heavy lifting and packing. But fortunately the team was great and even though the days were long and your whole body was sore after all the heavy lifting it was all exciting. It is not a easy job to move a whole office stuffed with clothes, jewelry, interior design and what not. Fortunately we made it haha!
After the move was done, there was the opening party! This was probably the biggest of the events I got to work with. I helped a lot with the preparations for this event, this was running around the city to fetch things, organizing and maintaing the showroom. During the events even though you are an intern, you still need to talk with the guests and present the brands. It is your job to showcase the clients products and get them seen in the media! The opening party was a great event, loads of people, great sponsors, great vibe and it was a success. It might seem glamorous and simple, but there is loads of hard work put into every event and the days are often long before the events.
After a few months of working I got more responsibility, which included translating and writing press releases, compiling customer reports, contacting bloggers and journalists for collaborations and other daily administrative tasks. As mentioned earlier, pr is packing and moving, and I can’t remember how many times I ran to the post office with tens of parcels or running from stores with bags filled with clothes for stylists. But I can assure you it is really fun! When working with pr the most important thing is connections, having good connections with stylists, journalists, bloggers and celebrities. Some stylists are super busy and sometimes sends e-mails if we could pick out some outfits for the shoots, and these tasks are often super fun. The stylist asks for clothes in some specific color or theme and you will have to pick out clothes that fit the brief, but still you need to represent all clients. Pinja and I picked out some sport clothes for Hyvä Terveys and the clothes actually made the cover of the magazine, and three clients got represented in the picture!
During the autumn aside of the showroom opening party, the pr office also had SS16 press day, Björn Borg fashion show, launch party for Kira Kosonen’s new web site, Casall yoga breakfast, Under Armour morning work out, Gina Tricot SS16 press day…. you name it! It was an eventful autumn.
SO here’s a short recap of the internship, working at a pr office is versatile, fun and something I would like to do in the future. If you want to work at a pr firm you need to be social, open and approachable and ready to network, because the A-Z is connections, connections, connections. I enjoyed my time at Polhem immensely, I had great colleagues, fun work tasks and even though some days were long and hard, I was every day happy to go to work. I hope that the pr scene in Finland will grow and evolve, as it is so small and there are little opportunities.