My experience at Bright One


This is an article by Hayley Chow.
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I applied to volunteer for Bright One after a friend had just started volunteering.  All I kept hearing was “Bright One is great”, “Bright One is unique” and “You should so join”.  And so I did.  I have now been volunteering for 7 months, even though it hasn’t been that long, I feel as though I have learnt so much from the experience so far, not only have I helped out on a few projects, Bright One has opened many doors for me too in terms of career.

The Bright One Management Team try to match volunteers with projects that fit their interests and passions; and I was quite lucky that almost straight away after applying, I was given a project that I could work on.  A few months on, I am currently working on my second project called iDance.  The iDance team are planning a hip-hop dance competition, with the finals being held later this year at Thorpe Park.  The Bright One team consists of Ben Matthews (the Gaffa), Ali Paul (the multi-tasker) and myself.  We had our kick-off meeting early this year, now March, the hip-hop ball is most certainly rolling along nicely.

I graduated last year in English, and must admit that when I applied to Bright One, I did not have much (if any) PR or marketing experience.  I just thought Bright One was original and something I haven’t come across before, but that is one of the many great things about an enterprise like this; I’ve been able to gain so much invaluable experience.  I never thought about PR as a career, mainly due to the fact that I didn’t realise there was a PR industry but after working on a few projects, I realised that PR is a mixture of all the things I have always had an interest in.

As well as the iDance project, I help as much as I can internally for Bright One also, and now I get to see even more of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.  Bright One is something I definitely want to be involved in for many years to come, the work they do is so vast and brilliant.

Comments

  1. I had never heard of Bright One before. I am generally wary of businesses who depend on volunteers and unpaid interns. This seems like a nice idea, but the skeptic in me has to ask: is it really 100% volunteer run or are there paid positions as well? And I’m also curious, where do they get their funding? Do they collect donations or do they charge clients a fee?

  2. Hi Whitney,

    The Bright One founder is actually guest editing our PR for Good Causes feature, so I am sure he may be able to answer your question.

    I understand why you may be skeptical, however Bright One is quite a well known agency, with ambassadors from a variety of leading PR agencies such as Edelman, Hotwire and Frank PR. The founder, Ben Matthews, was also named 2010’s Young PR of the Year.

    As I said, Ben may be able to answer you question. As I understand it, Bright One volunteers (much like Behind The Spin editors) work on projects outside of their normal working life, and therefore require no pay.

  3. Hi Whitney,

    Thanks for your comments.

    We are 100% volunteer and no one is paid.

    Bright One is legally constituted as a non-profit, so any revenue generated is invested back into the community. We are all volunteers – including me – so no one is taking any profit or wages from the work we do with charities. We do charge a fee to some charities, but these are larger organisations and subsidise the vast amount of pro bono work we do and pay for insuring the volunteers, etc.

    We have also received funding from UnLtd and the National Lottery, which has helped pay for costs.

    We have never collected donations, although are considering this approach.

    I’d be delighted to discuss any other questions you have – feel free to contact me at ben@brightone.org.uk

    Thanks,
    Ben

  4. Thank you so much David and Ben for your responses!

    This is a really interesting concept and I’m glad I was introduced to it. I’m Canadian and to my knowledge, this kind of organisation is not available there…yet. This definitely seems like a positive and more ethical approach to encouraging young PR people to gain experience vs. an unpaid internship at a for-profit company.

  5. No worries, Whitney!

    I’m sure Bright One will be over in Canada before long 😉

Trackbacks

  1. […] You may have seen the PR for good Causes series that we’re guest editing over on Behind The Spin (check out a run down of recent articles here),  but today has seen the first article about Bright One itself appear. […]

  2. […] Writing is a strong passion of Chow’s, for example contributing to the Taylor Bennett Foundation blog, as well as the personal blog (http://www.chowpow.wordpress.com), and have had articles published (http://www.talkpr.com/blog/?tag=michael-van-der-ham and http://www.behindthespin.com/careers/my-experience-at-bright-one). […]

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