3 Rules for a PR Internship
It is summertime (despite what the British weather may be doing!) and the latest round of graduates are jumping into the professional career pool. This is the first-step in forming a career path across many industries, with graduates taking on intern or apprentice roles. According to Monster.com, 85% of companies use internships to recruit for full-time roles, with former interns projected to fill 37% of graduate vacancies. During an internship, employers will be putting the new recruits through their paces, and it is a time for an intern to demonstrate what skills they can bring to the team. So if you are a graduate and have just landed that coveted PR internship, how can you turn it from valuable experience to a permanent role? Cherish PR’s latest team addition, Jordan Maahs, shares her advice on how to kick-start a PR internship.
- Ask questions
It’s a very cliché piece of advice, I know, but it’s important to remember that being curious or asking for help when you’re unsure is nothing to be ashamed of. From being genuinely curious about something happening in the agency, to asking your manager for help, you shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions.
At the same time, it’s important to take that advice with a grain of salt. PR agencies are very busy and fast-paced places, so make sure you’re not asking an excessive amount of unnecessary questions. If it’s a simple question that can be solved by Googling or looking at your internship handbook, your colleagues will appreciate your initiative in getting the job done.
While your work is likely going to be read over and edited by your colleagues regardless, that’s no excuse to get sloppy. Even if you are pressed for time, a quick scan over your work for simple mistakes does not take long. By no means is your writing expected to be perfect, but sending a draft of a press release riddled with easy-to-catch typos or failing to proofread an email is a careless oversight that doesn’t reflect well on you. I had a boss tell me once, “Don’t send it to me for approval unless it’s client-ready.” Was my work being sent directly to the client? No, but someday it will be, so make sure you’re showing your manager that you’re ready.
- Organise and prioritise
When you’re in a profession that deals with the media and clients, deadlines are everything. Make sure you stay on top of deadlines and be prepared to multitask on-the-fly. Different tasks of varying priority can pop up at any time. It’s your job to divide your time in the most efficient manner to ensure you get all your work done in a timely matter. Maybe it’s a bit obvious, but staying on top of emails and having a planner for daily tasks is important. Keep a list of what you need to do each day and add to it if you’re asked to complete another task. It’s a simple way to stay organised and there’s nothing more satisfying than striking them out when you’ve finished.