During her traineeship, Wibke Kroll from German agency Sympra, took the opportunity to attend the Public Relations Network staff exchange programme at English partner agency Prova. Sarah Hookey, head of operations asked her about her experiences at Prova and her personal view on similarities in PR across borders.
What brings you to Warwick?
I studied journalism and PR in Stuttgart. During my studies, I worked for an IT company and a global technology supplier. When I started my career at Sympra, it was my goal to spend a couple of weeks abroad to get another perspective on PR. Due to my poor French language ability, (and also because it could be the last chance to come for a working experience to the UK easily) I asked Richard if I could come and visit Prova. Also, both agencies have clients in similar fields and the language barrier was low.
Taking in Warwick’s charm on a sunny morning walk to the office
Where do you see similarities or differences in our daily PR work?
When it comes to managing and consulting with the client, I see many similarities such as discussing the calendar, speaking with journalists, discussing deadlines for publications and writing communications materials. But Prova also uses different communication tactics, such as blogger relations. I also saw differences in monthly evaluations and in weekly meetings, Prova focuses on its own channels, while Sympra discusses ongoing projects.
What was your highlight during your time at Prova?
This is a hard decision because the whole two weeks were perfectly organised; I had the opportunity to get closer insights on internal processes, attend meetings with clients, and learn more about communication in general, not to mention exploring the Midlands! But I think one of my highlights was accompanying Aimee to the CIPR Midlands Pride Awards in Birmingham. It is always inspiring to see well-crafted PR campaigns come to life … when all of that hard work pays off.
Wibke with the Prova team at their Monday morning meeting
How can we use our international network even more?
The network was built to gather a global collective of creative public relations specialists all over the world, mainly to provide high-level consultancy across country borders to our clients. This is a huge benefit to the partner agencies and its clients. Beyond that, we should use the network to build even stronger relationships. The good news is that PRN already organises bi-annual member meetings, always visiting another agency to collaborate and network. With the opportunity of the exchange programme, we’re able to learn even more from each other, in terms of work and culture.