My company recently competed at the PRWeek Awards, and being at the event made me remember how much I love the public relations/communications field. The best part about events like these is being able to share a room with professionals that share the same passions as you do. I haven’t been in the workforce long enough to share many tips, but I did have an excessive amount (eight) of internships to share some knowledge on being a PR intern. Here are five things that maybe you haven’t heard yet about interning in PR:
- You can work anywhere. Every company needs a communication team, so you can literally choose any dream company you want. The beauty of PR is that everyone needs it, which makes this such a wonderful field to be in. Don’t be afraid of trying new industries out. PR/communication is the same everywhere, just slightly altered according to the industry, which leads up to my next point:
- Getting the basics down is all you need. Every company does things differently. Every company writes a press release, media announcement, blog post and so on and so on, differently. Don’t feel the need to memorize a press release basic line for line. Get the basics down and work more on your skills rather than memorizing format. Every company is going to guide you to their format, so don’t be nervous!
- It’s always going to be a social environment. I know it might be obvious that PR/communications is a people-person job, but you really don’t realize how much of socializing there is when it comes to your internship. Talking to a lot of past internship bosses, I saw how much socialization matters. Everyday these people were in constant contact with twenty people about twenty different meetings or projects. If you’re like me and you consider a part of you a little introverted at times, make the effort to go to that happy hour or that event because in the PR world, it really does matter who you know, and the relationships you build with the people you work with. Some of my favorite internships have been because of the relationships I had with the people I worked with. Make the effort because it goes a long way.
- Brainstorming is a huge part of the job. Something that I didn’t know about PR was the importance of brainstorming. It seems like a simple and mindless task, but being able to work with different concepts and speaking up on creative ideas are actually skills that brought me a long way in PR. The best way for me to stand out at my past internships was to really bring all I had to the brainstorming sessions I was a part of. Use all your past projects, hobbys, and anything else you may have seen to the brainstorming sessions and shoot out ideas, even if you’re afraid of “sounding dumb.” It’s a great way to contribute as an intern and make yourself heard. Always a good skill for your future first job.
- Your needs most likely come last. One thing about PR/communications is that you’re constantly trying to make something look good, pulling out the positive aspects and working with what you got, whether it be a company or a person. This is the ultimate goal, and so you become that backstage mom that doesn’t get the spotlight. Most of PR work is a team effort, and you might not get the recognition you deserve. So, while your working on that big project or big event, you need to put your own self off to the side sometimes and concentrate on your client. Fortunately, there are sweet moments in PR, like PRWeek Awards where these incredible PR professionals do get the credit they deserve!
I love talking about my past internship experiences because I was always googling PR internship advice while at school. It’s nice to see things from someone else’s perspective, so even if this helps one PR intern out, it’s worth the blog post!