Written by: Holly Morrison – Intern, Racepoint Global London
What is it like interning in public relations?
While interning at a busy agency might seem intimidating, I’ve learned a lot during the last four weeks working at Racepoint Global about the different elements of PR – media and analyst relations, account management, new business and creative. I’ve worked across media campaigns that included drafting commentary, identifying target publications, pitching stories and monitoring for coverage.
Based on my experiences, I’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for those looking to intern in PR.
- Prepare, execute, and repeat: If you haven’t worked in an office before, getting used to a 9 to 5 schedule might be a bit of an adjustment. My most obvious tip is to get to bed early – even though you might be tempted to watch that episode of Love Island.
- Develop goals for your internship, before day one: In order to get the most of your internship, prepare several goals or tasks that you’d like to accomplish. These might change, however, coming in with a framework helps to guide you, and makes sure that you have a clear focus on what you’d like to learn. For example, I really wanted to develop my knowledge about PR and immerse myself in every area, which is something I feel I’ve achieved!
- Build a killer commuting playlist: If you’re not used to commuting, make sure you have a good playlist for the commute. It makes riding a train, packed with early morning commuters, more bearable!
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – and take notes: If you don’t understand something – ask. Your colleagues will understand that you’re learning, and you’re not expected to know everything! Take lots of notes, as you won’t be able to remember all of the information you need. There were some questions that I thought were really stupid to ask, but my colleagues were able to provide me with an answer straight away.
- Learn how the office works: Pay attention to the office dynamic, and take the time to learn what everyone’s job is and how their role fits into each client team.
- Bust the PR jargon: Compile a running list of PR phrases, words and acronyms – many of which you probably haven’t heard before! It’s great to have a glossary that you can refer to, making it easier to understand jargon-filled conversations in the office. There have been so many conversations I would not have understood if I hadn’t been taking note of the phrases.
- Manage your time wisely: At an agency, you won’t be looked after the same way you might be at school or university. You will have more freedom in terms of how you choose to get your work done. If you’re unable to meet a deadline – tell your manager. And, if you need something to work on – don’t hesitate to ask, be proactive!
- Get to know your co-workers: Go out to grab a coffee, or get lunch with your colleagues. Building good relationships at work will enable you to learn about the different roles in PR – earned and paid media, as well as creative. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice!
- Be proactive, and take every opportunity to learn: Go to all of the meetings and brainstorms that you can attend -- take advantage and use this time to experience as much as you can. Even if you’re still learning about clients, you’ll be able to contribute fresh ideas to the table during brainstorms.
Internships are a sure-fire way to learn about the career you are interested in – don’t waste the opportunity. There are so many things I have learnt at this internship that I will be able to apply to university and any upcoming jobs I have. The main thing it has done is give me an insight into life after graduation, which I believe has made me a more mature and forward thinking person; something that is definitely going to help me to be successful in the future.