My Sweet Cherry Work Experience Story

Photograph of Emma Harrison

As my fellow aspiring publishers will know, the last year has been a difficult time for anyone looking for work experience!
One positive development has been the rising number of remote placements, which have the added bonus of not being limited by location. It was this that really opened an opportunity for me when a fellow publishing hopeful kindly put me in touch with Divia,  Sweet Cherry’s Marketing and Publicity Executive. I emailed about the possibility of doing a virtual placement and was absolutely over the moon when she accepted my application.

I started off on Monday morning with a Zoom induction with Divia, who introduced me to Sweet Cherry and their books. It turned out that I had started at a great time, as my placement coincided with preparations for World Book Day the following month. One of my first tasks was to write a blog post about the charity’s campaign to improve literacy rates and their plans for the event in 2021. Over the next fortnight, I had the chance to develop my skills in copywriting and research. One of my favourite tasks was transforming the home learning materials for the Easy Classics series into interactive quizzes for learners without a printer a hope. Fun topics like ‘Which Bennet sister are you most like’ was an English Literature graduate’s dream! Although it was a shame not to be in the office itself, I didn’t feel like it impacted the placement too much – I enjoyed being able to work pretty independently throughout the day and Divia was always there to answer any questions I had.

One of the areas that I had been most keen to learn about was social media, so I was delighted to discover that one of my main tasks would be to create a social media calendar. Although I use all the main platforms regularly, I found that here I had to think much more carefully about the language and tone to use for each platform, both in regard to the audience on each channel and how well it fitted with previous content. When creating content for World Book Day, I also experienced working to the brand’s style guide, which was a really fun challenge. The task definitely ended up being one of the most enlightening parts of the two weeks for me.

The placement as a whole has opened my eyes to how varied the work in marketing and publicity is from day-to-day, as well as how creative it can be! I was really encouraged to put my own spin on tasks and to have fun with them in the process. As someone who has mostly focused on editorial, it’s really broadened my idea of where I would like to work in future!

I’d like to say a big thank you to Divia and the rest of the Sweet Cherry team for having me – I had an amazing time and really appreciated how much my tasks were personalised to the areas I wanted to learn about. The one-to-one careers workshop at the end of my placement, in particular, was a really invaluable opportunity.

If you’re interested in working in publishing, especially children’s books, I can’t recommend Sweet Cherry’s work experience programme enough!

Emma graduated from the University of Glasgow with an MA in English Literature, before completing an MLitt in Publishing Studies at the University of Stirling.