Reflections on a PR Internship

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Reflecting is the key to success. Avoiding criticizing what we’ve done in the past can push us to repeat the same mistakes. In teaching, it’s often said that reflecting is the means to growth, so that you can keep adapting to your students’ needs to ensure that they’re learning.

Continuous learning is a major theme of life. The adage “You learn something new every day” is true but I also believe that we repeat our mistakes at least once a week and in order to learn, we need to better identify our mistakes to improve them for the future. I guess that is also why I am majoring in history: to learn the mistakes of the past to make better decisions for the future.

My time here at Change Communications is coming to a close, but my learning will not. I’ve learned much during my internship, not with simple facts, but with skill.

The importance behind a coverage report for a client has always seemed null, until my role here. You can’t expect a client to pay you without demonstrating what you have done, and coverage reports do just that.

Media lists are tough to create, but one can get really creative with them. Being involved with the news really helps with this, and for me, my experience with the app SmartNews has really helped me. With SmartNews, I can refresh the app before leaving my house so that the top news of the day gets downloaded to my iPad for easy reading on the bus. Pocket also works wonders with this where you can save articles that you like, find important, or want to read later, even when you’re offline.

Lastly, what I think has helped me the most with this internship is being transparent and honest with my supervisor. I would always share every idea to her and was unfazed if she told me that my idea was not relevant to our client because I would learn why not. In doing so, I proved to both her and myself that I am capable of thinking outside of the box, in a realistic manner that could generate positive results. It is also hard to be critical at times, so starting out identifying what’s good about an idea works well to segue into criticism.

So here’s some advice for PR interns based on my experience:

Speak up – Its ok to express yourself, especially if you’re young like me, because we think very differently than people born even just 5 years earlier, and you should take advantage of this way of thinking.

Network – Get business cards so that when you have to go to a client event you can exchange them. I had the opportunity to do this with owners of major retailers and hotels in San Francisco and watched the opportunity go down the drain.

Quadruple Check Your Work and Tasks – When you have a task, keep referring back to it, and make sure that you are following what it says. Then before you hand it in, quadruple check it, and if you’re in the office, have a colleague read it. Turning in perfect work every time will make you stand out.

Be Where You Want To Be – If you are doing an unpaid internship and are not happy, leave. There are countless businesses that pay interns and treat them well while providing valuable growth. One should never feel stuck with an internship or any job that they are not happy with.

By Brian Liberman

Social Media Marketing Beyond Facebook

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If this image is all too familiar to you as a brand marketer, it’s because Facebook has finally killed organic reach and the “free ride” is over for brands. This has been occurring for the past year so it should come as no surprise to anyone managing a Facebook page.

Originally, as businesses posted on their page, people who “liked” the page would get the business’ posts on their feed. This was organic, and companies had to get people to like them so that these users could see their post. Now, according to this Business Insider article, “the ad agency Ogilvy was reporting as far back as February of 2014 that only about 2% of users were seeing companies’ Facebook posts.” Essentially, Facebook has taken out what was organic about their site for businesses, and turned it into a money making machine. Like any advertising tactic, Facebook ads do well for some brands but not for others (Noah Kagan has an excellent, comprehensive post on how his Facebook ads have performed).

That’s why it’s critical to look toward other social media services to market your business, so that you’re not completely dependent on Facebook and its whims (this goes for any platform). Forbes recently published “Social Media Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2015” and it predicts that Twitter’s new business advertising model will increase in popularity, Instagram will become essential for image-based social media marketing and social media marketing will finally be embraced as a core pillar of content marketing.

While Facebook once hooked its users (and still does), many younger users are beginning to move away from Facebook and turn to other social media platforms: Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, even Ello have emerged to steal away the hearts and minds (and ad dollars) of youths.

With new platforms come new concerns, but sometimes, being the first to market on a platform can push sales. Universal Pictures stated that millions of people viewed their first Snapchat ad for the film “Ouija” and FOX released a 6-second “tweaser” on Vine for “Wolverine.” Both engagements were successful for the films in reaching a younger (under-25) demographic.

Ultimately, brands and marketers need to stay on the forefront of what their audience do on their free time. Fads come and go, so brands need to keep up and play along with them by being present on many platforms and open to new opportunities. In doing so, if one rises or falls, your business will thank you for not only being on Facebook.

By Brian Liberman