The key to success for any keen PR’er is experience. Whilst there is no user manual and every company you work for will do things differently, you have to start somewhere – and for many, that usually is an internship or a work experience placement.
Now, just over a month into my PR internship, I can feel myself edging closer to the end goal. I learn something new every day and can already see how I’ve progressed, even in this short space of time.
Naturally, I make mistakes, things don’t always go to plan first time, but it’s a learning curve and that’s what it’s all about. Coming into the industry with limited knowledge and being surrounded by people who’ve done this for years was a leap into the unknown, followed by a soft landing as I realise it’s not all that scary and actually a lot of fun!
Tasks vary from day to day, from researching local business news, to writing a press release on dog auditions, searching for the perfect GIF to accompany a tweet or venturing over to the weird side of the internet to find the funniest costumes for pets – it’s a real mixed bag. Jumping from one task to the next allows me to experience the whole ‘mixed bag’, – it’s the best way to get a feel for the industry and instrumental to finding my niche.
Here are some of my top tips so far:
Be open minded
The ability to be open minded about the tasks you’re being set is key. Maybe you’re not interested in beauty or don’t usually use Twitter, but you might just learn to love it, and if not you’ll learn some new skills along the way!
Get stuck in
It may seem obvious, but put 110% into every task you’re set. From drafting a social media schedule to making your colleague a cup of coffee – make it faultless, make it the best cup of coffee they’ve ever drank! The competition for internships is high, so if you’re lucky enough to secure one, make the most of it because the experience will definitely come in handy later down the line.
Take as much as you can from the experience
It’s likely that the people you’ll be working alongside will each have a different portfolio, a different route to getting where they are today. If you’re keen to have a future in Fashion PR, for example, and the colleague to your left used to work for ASOS don’t be afraid to ask them about it, use their experience to your advantage because it’s not often you’ll find yourself among people as well versed.
Ultimately, if PR is something you might be interested in, an internship is a great way to test the waters and find out if it really is the industry for you!