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My internship at Tower of London – Gina Chahal

In this guest blog post, Creative Access intern Gina Chahal talks about her internship at the Tower of London. 

YJXKkmT7_400x400Hi, my name is Gina and I am a media and PR intern at Historic Royal Palaces, which is an independent charity that looks after the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, Hampton Court Palace, Kew Palace, Banqueting House and Hillsborough Castle.

I am based in the press office at the Tower of London (actually inside the Tower of London), and my role is varied with tasks from the press team and from the social media team.

Recently, I was given the task of writing a press release for the annual ghost tours at Hampton Court Palace, one of the six palaces that HRP look after. This was an exciting project for me as I’ve previously written articles for a few websites. In my experience, press releases are an essential part of covering an event, as it provides an inside look into an event, as well as useful information and details to include. It was a new experience for me working from the PR side of an event, as I learnt how the tone of a press release allows Historic Royal Palaces to portray the personality of Hampton Court Palace.

The Hampton Court Ghost Tours are tours of the palace after hours, which bring to life the tales of ghost sightings and haunted chambers. So, it is important to do the relevant historical research when describing the stories of the former residents of the palace. This was a fun project and proved rewarding when journalists used catchphrases from the press release in their articles, such as “ghostly gallivant”, which was proof that I got my money’s worth out of my English Literature degree!

On the social media side of my internship, I was fortunate enough to see the preparation leading up to the release of Historic Royal Palaces’ first ever Instagram Story. Instagram Stories are a relatively new feature which, much like SnapChat, allows you to share multiple photos and videos together in a slideshow format. The Instagram Story provided a sneak preview of the Hampton Court Ghost Tour to celebrate Halloween, and the upcoming tour season. In preparation for the story, I shadowed the Digital Media Officer as she worked out the best timings, images and videos, during the rehearsal. The live Instagram Story was a great success, and was watched by 10.5k people, including the Royal Family’s Instagram account!

As a consumer, I never realised how much work and preparation that an organisation goes to when creating an Instagram story, or any interactive social media event.

I’m used to mindlessly tapping through an Instagram Story or complaining about the slow stream of a Facebook live event, without a second thought for the hard work of the people behind the scenes. This experience gave me a new appreciation into how the organisation manages social media across different palaces.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to both Historic Royal Palaces and Creative Access for the support so far and one more thing:

For tales of grisly ghouls and a fright in the night, head over to Hampton Court after dark-if you dare…