Recently, whilst applying for a popular PR graduate scheme, I came across the following question:
Please write a blog that delivers maximum impact on: “If you were leader of the Opposition how would you make the case to win the next election? (In no more than 200 words)
In all honesty, I had no idea how to answer. My initial reaction was to write a funny piece but I fretted over whether this would be appropriate for the culture and style of this particular PR company. I was not sure if they wanted a serious answer or they wanted my personal take on the question. I even took the time to search through several blogs on the right ways to tackle this perceived problem, although they all gave me conflicting answers. After much research, reflection and thought, I decided to take a risk and write a totally unconventional and slightly weird answer. I wrote:
First, I would offer the masses free popcorn at anytime and anyplace during my tenure in power. According to a focus group consisting of two people (a very legible amount), popcorn is likely to be a deciding factor when swaying the public in an election. A last ditch effort, this would only occur after my political advisers and I have tried and tested every rational communication strategy possible. Through this action, I am showing the public that I’m fun, unique and likely to bring a different approach in government unlike my boring and less creative opponent.
If in the unlikely chance that ‘Operation Popcorn’ does not bode well with the people, then I will do what I think Gordon Brown should have done and study presentations and speeches led by great speakers such as Barack Obama and Steve Jobs. I would possibly hope that their charismatic aura robs off on me, so I can then sway the election to my favour with my newly acquired supercharged charm.
I know you must be thinking it’s strange, right?
They did not ask the applicant to write a serious piece so I decided to take a chance. Although I can write in different tones and styles, this particular way of writing comes natural to me and I concluded that it’s probably a great way to showcase my personality to the employers. In the PR industry, writing is deemed one of the most important skills needed and I resolved that as long as they can see that you’re a great writer and you’re not using any obscene language, then you are within the means and rights to write in any style you like without it hindering your application progress.