“Easy to work with and GREAT national media coverage which started coming through very quickly! Highly recommend!”
Edward Holroyd Pearce, Co-Founder and Co-Director, Virtual Internships
I was hired by entrepreneurs Edward Holroyd Pearce and Daniel Nivern to PR their second business, Virtual Internships, after gaining national and global coverage for their first venture, CRCC Asia, the world’s biggest provider of work experience placements in China. I have now worked with the duo since 2011.
Virtual Internships offers young people the chance to gain invaluable CV-boosting work experience anywhere in the world from the comfort of their own home via virtual working. The Bermondsey-based business aims to become the leading global provider of virtual internships and is the only one of its kind in the UK. Host companies include British and international firms, from start-ups to blue chips, across all sectors, in the UK and USA to China and Japan. Interns can work full-time for two months, or part-time by spreading the equivalent hours over six months. They are “matched” to virtual positions within companies who are vetted beforehand.
I was tasked with launching Virtual Internships in the UK and handling ongoing press and PR.
With Virtual Internships charging from £595 for a remote internship, that is unpaid, I had warned my client that PR might be an uphill struggle, and we may even face negativity and criticism in the press. Undeterred, I targeted tech, education, work & careers, and business editors on the national press and pushed hard for coverage.
To counteract this, I highlighted all the support and mentoring that a young person signing up with Virtual Internships receives, such as a weekly call with a dedicated advisor to check in on progress, continuous feedback on the experience to make the most of the internship, and a reference document signed by the host company to share with future employers detailing experience on the job, plus personal progress and skills development. I also stressed the benefits a virtual internship can bring, including working in a great company anywhere in the world, working wherever and whenever is most convenient and productive, learning remote working skills and how to work as part of a remote team, and building a proven track record of delivering great work using remote tools. In our press release, I included interesting statistics such as 80,000 internships are undertaken each year in the UK and going virtual will increase this number and make them more accessible to everyone. And that 43% of employees have jobs that involve remote working whilst 25% work remotely for two or more days a week.
Despite the potentially sensitive nature of the media campaign, I secured a ton of press coverage including interviews with BBC TV News. Our PR resulted in large profile features on the business founders, plus articles on the changing nature of the workplace. Online coverage included high-authority backlinks to the Virtual Internships website, which can boost organic search rankings. The coverage was fair and balanced and brought awareness of Virtual Internships to an audience of millions, as well as generating credibility for the business.