Diary: Entering the PR industry on a wing and a prayer

Fishburn Hedges’ first two graduate trainees joined the agency last week. Amanda Prosser and Alan McCormick had to go through a gruelling selection process before being picked out. An advertisement placed in a national newspaper initiated 600 responses, including some from waitresses, scaffolders and bricklayers.

Fishburn Hedges’ first two graduate trainees joined the agency last

week. Amanda Prosser and Alan McCormick had to go through a gruelling

selection process before being picked out. An advertisement placed in a

national newspaper initiated 600 responses, including some from

waitresses, scaffolders and bricklayers.



The agency set a challenge for applicants in its ad: ’Interested? Then

interest us’.



Responses ranged from the witty (a button stapled to a covering letter

with the words ’I’m bright as a ...), to the surreal (a cartoon of a woman

at a desk in a canoe sailing over a waterfall), to the downright

disgusting (one candidate sent in a bacon sarnie to be eaten while their

prospective employer perused their CV).



Eventually eight candidates were selected to spend a day at the Fishburn

Hedges office in Trafalgar Square.



Against all this madness the two successful trainees shone out as

wholesome examples of British youth. Prosser has a degree in English from

the University of Leeds and has worked as an editorial assistant on China

Monitor magazine.



McCormick has a degree in politics and history from the University of

London, and has worked with various campaigning organisations in Britain

and the US, and spent a year in Colombia working on a project to help

street children.



As a final test, Prosser and McCormick were sent down into Trafalgar

Square to pit their communications skills against the resident army of

pigeons. It was not until they began demonstrating their dancing skills

that the birds eventually took flight.



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