Internships: How to gain valuable experience in PR
By Emily Mason, PR Coordinator
Entering the world of Public Relations has been an exciting and fulfilling career choice for me. Every industry values the experience and connections you bring to a role, securing an internship or even several is a crucial step towards building a professional and successful career, just as it has done for me!
Towards the end of my university degree, I successfully applied for an internship with Hunter Communications. My internship not only provided valuable experience and learning, but also ultimately lead to me to securing a full-time position with Hunter Communications. It is an opportunity that I know would not have come my way if I hadn’t had the opportunity internship with the team and demonstrate what I can do. I want to share how to strategically approach your journey and utilise internships, so you too can gain valuable experience.
Do you research and see what companies are out there
By targeting the right internship, you can set yourself up. This isn’t to say you’ll get it right straight away; internships are for you to understand what works for you and what you like. But think about what piques your interests. Is it a particular industry? For me, learning about different industries, engaging in various communications styles and working with a diverse range of different clients lead me to want to intern with an agency. That’s when I discovered Hunter Communications.
Take initiative and be proactive
Securing an internship is arguably the ‘easy’ part, . However, once you’re in, you must seize every opportunity to learn and grow. Ask questions when you’re unsure, show enthusiasm and demonstrate dedication to your work. Be proactive in asking for feedback and take on as much as you can. While the environment may feel overwhelming at times, I found that learning from incredible professionals by asking questions like what they were working on, or why they corrected my work helped me understand the world of PR and expectations of the role. By showcasing these two skills, you’ll make a lasting impression on the people around you.
Network and connections
As communication specialists, our work revolves around people. An internship provides an incredible opportunity to polish your networking skills. Begin by getting to know your colleagues around you and then seize any chance to attend industry events or media activities related to clients. Connect with the people you meet on LinkedIn and engage with conversations where possible, including with clients. Building relationships is so crucial in the world of PR - It not only can open doors for you but helps build your confidence as a professional.
Start honing your writing skills
Effective communication is the backbone of PR, which means your writing skills will need to be sharpened. During your internship use the opportunity to get lots of feedback on your writing and take opportunities to practice writing for different mediums. From emails, media releases, blogs, pitches, and social media content, each has a different tone of voice and target audience you need to adapt to and the more you practice the better you get.
Remember, your internship is only the start of an exciting adventure, you get a taste of what PR truly is and if it’s what you want to do. University can only prepare for so much but it's the hands-on experience and connections you make that will elevate you by miles.