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