Like most public relations professionals, I began my career as an intern. As the summer comes to an end (sigh) and fall interns begin, I put together five tips to guide them through their internship.
Read the local papers: It is important to know what is going on in the world and how it can/will impact clients. Whichever city you are working in, read the daily newspapers, and scan for relevant articles that are pertinent to the agency’s clients. Also, monitor news websites for regular updates.
Ask questions: When in doubt, ASK. When you are working on a project and have some questions, ask your supervisor for help. We would rather help you get it right the first time than have you do it again.
Be proactive: There is always plenty of work to be done, so don’t hesitate to ask for work when you are done with a project. You are at your internship to learn as much as possible, so make sure you are getting as many projects as possible to build your skill set. Also, don’t forget to always have a notebook and pen in hand to write down your assignments!
Google it: A big component of many interns’ jobs is research. Many firms have databases and subscription programs but it’s always a good idea to supplement this research with Google searches to make sure you are gathering the most – and most relevant – information.
Network: Public relations is all about networking. Take advantage of any events that you are invited to. You never know, your next boss could be there! Also, don’t forget to create a LinkedIn profile and connect with the people you have met with throughout your internship.
Stacy Wilbur, senior account executive