A Public Relations internship is a great role for anyone who is looking for a fast-paced environment that draws on their creativity.
Whether you’re doing the internship as part of your media program or an early segway into the field, here’s how to get the job and make the most of your experience.
Stage One: Delivering a Successful Interview
Whether your interview is at a big agency, a Fortune 500 company, a small start-up or government office, you’re going to be asked about your writing skills. To prove that you’re a stellar wordsmith, bring a portfolio to your interview. It can consist of previous work you’ve completed in school or as a freelancer, and should contain 6 to 8 pieces in hard copy. Sometimes the interviewer may not ask if you have any writing samples on hand, so don’t be afraid to share your work before you wrap up the interview. Additionally, if you have a blog or write for one, feel free to send a link to your interviewer when you follow-up.
Next, be prepared for a short writing assignment after the interview. Whether it was assigned on the spot or emailed afterward with a deadline, this is simply a test to determine whether your skills are a good fit for the job. If you love to write and are passionate about the industry, you’ll thrive!
Lastly, always keep current examples of your favourite PR campaigns, both external and internal to the company you want to work for in mind. This will show your potential employer that you understand industry trends and will give you an opportunity to show off your knowledge and enthusiasm for the field.
Become Accustomed to the PR Environment
During your internship, you can expect to work on a multitude of tasks. An internship is an opportunity to network and gain industry exposure. That being said, you may be working on a variety of tasks that could range from writing drafts for press releases and blog posts to helping with events and administrative duties. There may be days that are busier than others, but don’t be afraid to raise your hand to help with new projects. You can also gain a lot by being fearless enough to create your own proposals!
When I was interning, some of the most valuable skills I picked up from my internship were how to build targeted media lists and draft press releases. These are key components to launching any media campaign and this is your opportunity to take on the challenge in real time. There are many textbook theories you can apply on the job, but do not be tied to those limitations. Ask questions when in doubt, and don’t be afraid to ask for someone to send you previous examples for your reference.
How to Deliver on Your Duties
Regardless of the task at hand, always approach each new project with enthusiasm. The reality is that just like with any job, there will be times where you are assigned to tasks that may not seem the most appealing or related to your field of study. However, your attitude towards the project will greatly reflect the outcome and help you distinguish yourself as a team player. Once you show that you are capable of taking on any challenge at hand, there is a good chance you will be assigned to more projects and may even be considered for future opportunities within the company.
Making the Most of Your Internship Once it’s Over
No matter how busy you were during your internship, it always comes to an end. It’s hard to believe how quickly time can fly when you are adjusting to a new job, meeting new coworkers, drafting press releases and learning about your industry, but before you know it, it’s time to find another opportunity.
Once you’ve finished your internship, continue to building on the professional connections you made within the office. You worked hard in your internship, and you want to make sure you keep your relationship with the company in good standing so that you can approach them for references later on.
First, connect with your colleagues on LinkedIn and keep in touch with them via email so that you’ll be the first to hear about upcoming professional opportunities. Second, be be cognisant of the way your office functions. Most companies are always in need of volunteers, so why not ask to be signed up to the volunteer list, or see if you can take on freelance work? Lastly, before the end of your internship, schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss how best to build your future in PR. You can ask them for career advice and how you can improve upon your skills that you’ve built during your internship. This will help you to map out your next steps after the internship.
A PR internship is a great way to exercise your interview skills, get used to the industry, developing a good attitude towards work and plan your future career path. With time, hard work and a little help from the TalentEgg team, you never know what egg-citing career you might hatch!