As a beginner in the PR world, I wanted to share a few tips that helped me succeed in my college internships and land a job at a great PR agency.
- Experience, experience, experience: In this case, it is quality over quantity. Just because someone completed eight internships in college, doesn’t mean they have the skills that are going to benefit them in their career. What makes an internship valuable is when you come out of the experience with more knowledge about the PR industry than when you started. Take the time to meet with your managers and supervisors to see what they think your can improve on.
- Immerse yourself in the industry: If you want to get ahead and improve your knowledge of the media and the PR industry, then I’d suggest you start reading, watching and following. READ the daily newspapers like The New York Times, USAToday, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, etc. WATCH the morning talk shows if they align with your outreach, such as Good Morning America and The Today Show. And lastly, FOLLOW reporters and influencers that you plan to reach out to. It’s a great way to get to know the reporter and reach out about upcoming stories.
- Build relationships with publications, even with the smaller publications: When you first start out you will probably be assigned smaller publications or newer reporters to get your foot in the door. Make sure to foster those relationships because just as you will grow in your career, so will they.
- Know who you’re talking to: The most important thing you can do before going into an interview or working with the media is to know who you are talking to. Spend the extra 10-15 minutes to research that person, and come prepared with relevant questions.
- Give every project 100% effort: Just because you aren’t working on the most important project or pitching a large publication for your client doesn’t mean that your work goes unnoticed by your managers. Take the assignments you receive seriously and go above and beyond to show that you can handle them.
I’m very thankful for the mentors that I had in college and to those that continue to help me early on in my career. I love when I get the opportunity to go back to Suffolk University to speak to students about my experiences – it’s all about giving back!