What every Public Relations Intern Should Know

According to BusinessDictionary.com an internship is a

“period of supervised training required for qualifying for a profession.”

An internship will show you whether or not if your cut out for a career in the field.

This is my fourth year of interning and my second summer with The Alison Group. Over the years I’ve learned the do’s and don’ts of PR as well as an intern. No matter how many places you intern for it’s a given you will hear some of the same cliched pieces of advice that in the end really are helpful. At the end of each of these experiences you want to be able to walk away with confidence and a good sense of the business.

I have put together a list of tips that helped me through all of my internships:

“No question is a stupid question”  – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. This can be your biggest key to learning. Although a professional setting can be intimidating, you can’t let it get to you.  When working on a project you need to give it your all and show everyone your dedicated but you must ask questions about any and everything if your unsure about something. It’s okay  to ask one hundred and one questions because you’d rather get it right the first time than through a trial and error process. Remember there are no stupid questions just speak up when in doubt.

“Be proactive every day” – With every intern experience your job description and skills will broaden and grow. More than likely you will be doing and learning more than what school has “prepared you for”. There will always plenty to get done. So don’t hesitate to ask for more work when your done with projects. On a daily basis there are a variety of different tasks to do from simple filing to writing copy for press releases or a commercial. The more enthusiasm you show especially for smaller tasks then the more likely a company is to hand you more responsibility.

“Google it” – Research will be a big part of an intern’s job description. It’s good to build up your research skills because it’s important to know how to do it effectively. Most agencies or firms have subscriptions to databases and other programs but you can always turn to Google to help support the information you’ve already gathered to make sure your obtaining the most relevant information. Even social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube can be useful tools.

“Be aware of what’s happening around you” – Everyone needs to read their local newspapers. It’s important to know what’s going on around the world because you need to know how it can and will impact your agency’s clients. Take a few moments to read the  local paper and look for relevant articles that you feel will benefit the client.

“Always anticipate the unexpected” – Everyday is different so you need to stay on your Ps and Qs at all times. You also need to keep an open mind. To-do lists are vital to help keep track of what your doing daily so in case something goes wrong or the unexpected happens you will know where you left off and what your priorities are.


About Rushunda Ware

Summer Intern at The Alison Group in Augusta, GA.
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