You’ve finally landed your first Public Relations internship (hooray!). Whether it is with a local firm, global agency or even a non-profit, you are now going to get the inside look and experience you’ve been waiting for.
Here are a few tips that can help you succeed in your internship and help you with any nerves you encounter.
There is nothing wrong with too much research.
I’m sure when you sent your resume to the places you wanted to intern, you probably already did some background research on the firms. However, now that you officially have the position, go home or to your favorite coffee shop, get your laptop and dig even deeper into the firm. Look up their mission, their purpose, what they specialize in and most importantly search their clients! These are the clients you will be working with during your internship.
More tasks! More tasks!
During your internship, you will be assigned tasks, sometimes daily and sometimes not, if a project requires a longer time frame to have ready. There may even be days when you may complete your tasks for the week if you’re stuck thinking “what do I work on now?” ask other employees in the office if maybe they need a hand with a project of theirs. I assure you it will show initiative and allow others to see you as a person who not only does what is asked but goes up and beyond to help the team!
“Asking all them questions”
There is something about asking questions that people are afraid of sometimes. They’re afraid it’s a dumb question (no such thing), or they are just scared in general to ask. You are not always going to know the answer and since you are surrounded by professionals and experienced employees in the field ask them whatever questions you want, so that you better understand the tasks you’re assigned or what exactly they are asking of you. I had recently been asked to search social media posts for a client of ours and pick out the posts I felt we could give feedback on. I did not know if I was to pick out post that were great or posts that we could give feedback on to make better. I then asked one of the girls who I work closely with and she was able to give me a clearer understanding. Don’t be afraid. Your co-workers would appreciate you asking questions!
Clean up your social media accounts
As they say when applying for jobs make sure your social media accounts are clean and don’t show inappropriate content. The same goes for internships, most likely the people overseeing your resume are going to look into your accounts especially if you are being considered for even an interview with them. Of course, there is a place and a time for everything and you won’t always be in a professional setting. So yeah go on and take that selfie with your best friend on a Friday night out with alcoholic beverages in hand! Just maybe refrain from posting it online but save it to your memories!
Get familiar with trends and terms
The tools that PR pros use are ever-changing. What was new yesterday is old today. It is very crucial to stay on top of trends and bring them to life with your clients. Being in this new professional environment you may hear terms you aren’t familiar with. There have been so many PR terms I never heard not even in my intro to Public Relations class. I searched up all the words I didn’t know. It could be as simple as when I didn’t know what “EOD” stood for I just kept seeing that acronym in my emails when meetings were being scheduled. “End of day” is what it means and my emails were telling me that these meetings were scheduled at the end of the work day around 5 p.m. (duh right lol) I still find myself searching up new words almost every day. Learn them until you can hear the word and know immediately what it means.
I hope that these 5 tips are helpful for you in your journey to becoming a PR pro. Always remember to have courage and faith in anything you do!