I have to admit that on the first day of my internship at Matter Communications I had some major jitters. I had no idea what to expect, and all I knew about PR, or account management in general, were the shady antics that Pete Campbell conducted on “Mad Men.”
Having been a journalist with two internships under my belt, I knew I could handle the craziness that is a newsroom and crank articles out with an editor breathing down my neck. What I didn’t know was if I could handle the type of assignments that would be thrown my way at a PR agency. When asked to picture what an account associate did all day before this internship, all I could conjure up in my head were images of endless phone calls and an out of control office that was filled with people looking like they needed a nice long vacation.
Fast forward to the end of my first week. Yes, phone calls were made, but to my surprise the office was, and is, a level-headed environment. Mind you this was just my first day, and I couldn’t help thinking that the calm was a fluke. As the week went by, I started to get more comfortable and settle in. I helped my team with research, which was something I did a lot as a reporter, and began to learn about key PR tools, like press releases, media lists, awards and editorial calendars. Prior to this internship, the only contact that I had with the PR world was a constant flood of press releases in my inbox. What I‘m beginning to see is the amount of work that goes into writing a press release before it is ever sent.
I have to give the PR world props; the energy in the office is great, and I learn so much just by listening to the conversations that happen around me. My coworkers, although passionate at times, are super helpful, nice and down to earth, and it’s great to see that they love the work they do. I’ve also found that data is prolific, and that’s something I want to learn more about. And, of course, I can’t wait to start learning how to manage accounts and even – gasp – pitch reporters.
With about two weeks under my belt, I know that I still have a lot to learn, but I’m excited to continue this journey. My honest review? It’s different, but in the best way possible. Plus, no one has tried to poach a client from one another – the “Mad Men” fantasies have been put to rest.