In Public Relations, being an intern isn’t the typical photo copy master or coffee errand runner, it takes hustle, talent and grit. Experience is everything. If you’re a recent college graduate, you are most likely searching for the right firm to give you the opportunity to strengthen your skills, gain hands-on experience, find out what you like, and more importantly, what you don’t like. But how do you get there? From a current intern perspective at Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations agency Durée & Company, here are 5 tips we’re sharing to make the best of a PR internship.
The first and most important step to finding a PR internship is by doing research. It helps to look at Instagram and the firm’s website. Why Instagram? You can learn a lot about clients, the media landscape, and the work culture. Check the agency’s website to see if they write their own blog content. Which posts interested you? Why? Mentioning these in an interview is a great conversation starter and shows you have prepared.
Have questions ready before the interview. Questions show that you’ve done your research, and are interested in the firm. At D&Co, we are reading the book “The Art of Client Service,” by Robert Solomon. In the first chapter, Solomon discusses an interview he conducted with a young millennial. At the end of the interview, she asked, “What makes a good account person?” He was shocked. No one he had ever interviewed asked that question. Solomon said that after the interview, the impressive millennial interned there, and with time, became the great account person she set out to be.
Every PR firm has its own dynamic and way of getting things done. As an intern, it’s important to listen and soak everything in like a sponge. You’re going to feel like a lot of information is thrown at you in a short span of time. It’s important to take notes, speak up when you have questions, and be open to trial and error.
Understand that there’s a balance of administrative and PR work to be done. As an intern, you may be asked to assist with operational activities such as getting the mail, clipping, filing magazines, preparing media kits, and more. These tasks are necessary and important for the success of the firm while also, fostering new and existing relationships with clients.
It’s important to make sure you are actually gaining experience in your internship. At Durée & Company, we have scheduled bi-weekly meetings with our supervisor to discuss goals, challenges, and anything that may be affecting our performance. It’s important to have these check-ins to track progress and growth. It also helps you and your supervisor with transparency and building trust.
Be open to criticism. As an intern, you are bound to be given criticism. Take it constructively. Often times, it is to help you become more efficient and attentive to detail. It’s important to acknowledge it, accept it, and more importantly, implement it moving forward. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.
Writing is so important in public relations. In college, you learn foundational skills such as AP style, how to draft a press release, and the planning/strategizing of a campaign. But how you put all those skills into actions for real-life clients is far different than what you learn in a classroom setting. Ask to help draft releases, pitch them to media, track responses and secure media. This will help you collect real work and start a portfolio that shows your accomplishments while working on an account team.
Does the firm produce its own blog content? Offer to write a blog post and get your creative juices flowing. This is a great way to write your own content that is relatable and of interest to you. The firm can share it on their social media platforms and you can share it to your personal channels. It will highlight your interest in the industry and challenge you to do research on a topic you may not be familiar with.
Did you truly immerse yourself? Reflect on your progress from the start to the end of your internship. Who knows? Maybe it could lead to a full-time opportunity! Every internship is a learning experience and will lead you to a successful career in public relations. Like any experience in life, what you put in is what you get out of it. It’s a good lesson for just about anything!
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, wellness and CBD, marine & yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, go to https://dureeandcompany.com/, visit Durée & Company on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DureeCoPR/, Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dureecopr Twitter at https://twitter.com/dureecopr or YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/DureeAndCompany, or call 954-723-9350.