A PR Infusion: One journalist’s experiences at InFusion Comms

Posted by Sara Hawthorn

I have been working at InFusion Comms for a little over two weeks, and though it’s only been a short time, it has been really eye-opening.

I am just completing an MA in Journalism, so I have spoken to many PR professionals from the point of view of a journalist, but this has been my first glimpse into their world from their perspective.

Journalism and PR are very much two sides of the same coin, presenting information to the world, so I was surprised by how different the work can be. While journalists are concerned with the ‘public interest’ (as well as what is interesting to the public), PRs are ultimately serving their clients – while also trying to engage their target audience, and keep the journalists who publish their press releases happy.

At InFusion Comms, the angle is even more different, as they work in B2B PR, so engagement is with other technical tradespeople and businesses – a complete change of gears in terms of target audience and content.

Trying to provide interesting and relevant technical content while simultaneously subtly pitching your client, but not so that readers feel like they’ve read a sales pitch, is a juggling act on a tightrope.

Sara has been amazing, explaining everything from SEO and how to make a content map, to technical details about electrical systems and clients’ businesses – all while being friendly, chatty, passionate, and understanding.

Technical PR demands a good understanding of the client’s often complex business, and the ability to ask the right questions to get that information out of the client – who knows what they are talking about, but often not how to put it in layman’s terms. Sara navigates this world with breathtaking aplomb; I certainly haven’t mastered it, but I feel like working on some articles and blogs for clients, and taking notes for a case study, has helped me understand a little of how it is done, which I can develop in future.

The learning curve for me has been very steep, and I know I’ve asked a lot of questions and still misunderstood things, but I feel like I have come out of this placement with a fresh respect for, and understanding of, PR, which I know will help me as I start my career.

I haven’t decided fully on a path, and I will probably end up somewhere I never expected. Journalism is still on the table as a career, and I think my newfound appreciation for the role of PR will help me work with them, but I will definitely also be applying for PR roles – although probably in B2C or less technical PR companies to start with!


10 ways InFusion Comms impressed me

  1. Experienced. Sara (the director) has been working in technical B2B PR for much longer than should be possible given that she looks about 25. She has loads of experience, she knows everything and if she doesn’t know it, she will find out.
  2. Capable. Everything is under control and organised. There is no headless-chicken faffing at InFusion; everything is happening as and when it should be, and deadlines are neither tight nor loose, they are just reasonable.
  3. Quality. InFusion knows what they are doing and how to do it, and they do it well. They care personally about the companies they represent.
  4. Friendly. InFusion are a small, close-knit team, and they interact on a human level; professional, but not ‘formal’.
  5. Professional. Although InFusion are friendly and approachable, they are consummate professionals, producing polished work and excellent results.
  6. Bespoke. InFusion work with their clients to do PR which works for them, wherever their company is at.
  7. Results. Some people think that PR is a fluffy business with no measurable results, but that is Fake News. InFusion use the PESO model, along with analytics to tell you just how many new customers and how much interest their work is generating for you.
  8. Social. Like it or not, the digital age is here, and social media is a PR and marketing martial art. InFusion are black belts.
  9. Flexible. Whether it’s starting a social media presence, writing content for web pages, submitting case studies to trade magazines, or crisis management, InFusion can turn their hands to any aspect of PR as and when it is needed.
  10. Tea. Last, but by no means at all least, tea is an integral part of the InFusion chemistry. A cup of tea (and a biscuit) makes everything better, and InFusion have it down to a science.