I had no idea what public relations or marketing were a few years ago. My personal love for communication and cultivating relationships led to a fulfilling internship at Mediafy Communications during my last semester as a graduate student. I find it relevant to build a strong foundation for a bright and successful career in this industry, and strategic communication is key.
Here are seven reasons why you should intern at a PR agency before taking the leap to full-time, high-stress, no-sleep madness.
Alright, it’s not THAT bad. ;)
1. You learn important communication strategies from tenured PR pros. Building relationships and learning how to communicate with the media is a building block in PR. You also learn how to maintain those relationships in the long run to secure press coverage for your clients. A cool tip I learned is to Sherlock Holmes your media contact before reaching out to them for a client pitch.
2. You learn how to pitch. Pitching is, by experience, hitting up journalists to let them know about your rad clients, their products and how they can be of service. But, there’s a catch. Journalists that write for major news outlets receive at least 200 pitches a day. In other words, your pitch can get lost in the pile of trying-to-impress-you emails. An essential tip is to keep your pitch short, specific and newsworthy. Also, to pitch effectively, you need to have excellent writing skills. Interning allows you to develop and hone your writing skills, especially with all the great feedback you get from your higher-ups.
3. You learn how to deal with rejection. Pitching media and not hearing back reminds me of the crush that leaves your text messages on read. Either they didn’t like your pitch, or they just didn’t see it. Either way, it hurts. It’s fine though, because not every person you email is going to respond, and you can always just follow up.
4. You get free stuff. Most PR clients have products out in the market. And chances are if you’re doing PR for them, you get some cool stuff for free. Whenever I receive client products, I like to learn more about them and gain some inspiration for pitching the products to the media. Sounds like a win/win to me.
5. You learn how to manage your time in a fast-paced environment. Time management is key in the rush of the PR industry. Usually, there’s not a moment where you don’t have something to do. Learning how to juggle multiple tasks at once is essential to getting work done ahead of time. A cool tip is to keep a planner to stay organized and check off tasks once completed.
6. You develop leadership qualities. Being a leader in PR requires patience, excellent communication skills and flexibility. Things are not always pristine, so remaining patient through tough situations can drive success. Great communication and being flexible by working with what you’ve got is also key. Everyday in the office is different, and you must be ready for the unexpected.
7. You learn to have fun. PR is exciting, enjoyable and rewarding! You can get creative with your pitches, experiment with PR technologies, develop content that makes you (and your boss) proud and become a more well-rounded and knowledgeable person. Once you secure media placement for your clients, they won’t be the only ones smiling.
Overall, my PR internship experience has been full of adventure, learning, growth and did I mention free stuff?
- Jasmine Piliposyan