PR Lessons Learned from a Post-Grad Internship

In my last semester of college, I started to search for the start of a career in public relations. After applying to what felt like a million jobs and internships, I was so excited that Breakaway Public Relations wanted to hire me as an intern. As a recent grad, I thought I had all the knowledge in the world to over-achieve at this job. Boy was I wrong. Learning new public relations terms I hadn’t heard in school, getting comfortable with PR tools and software I had never used, and balancing work for multiple clients was overwhelming at first. Over time though, I was able to adapt and apply my new-found knowledge. Here are a few key things I have learned during my internship with Breakaway PR: 

 

1. Be flexible

In PR, no two days are the same. One moment you could be drafting a press release, the next you might find yourself brainstorming social media content for the week. The ability to adapt and embrace change is important. Being flexible not only demonstrates versatility but also allows you to thrive in the fast-paced environment of PR.

 

2. Attention to detail matters

From crafting pitches to emailing clients, attention to detail is a must. A minor error in a press release or a typo in an email can lead to misunderstandings or damage to media relations. Not to mention, once something is sent out, it is difficult to make corrections or take it back. I quickly learned the importance of meticulousness in every task I undertook, no matter the size.

 

3. Networking and email is everything

In PR, your network is your net worth. Whether attending networking events, reaching out on various platforms, or fostering relationships with colleagues, I quickly learned that public relations involves a tremendous amount of. Staying on top of all your emails ensures you don’t miss any opportunities and remain engaged with your colleagues and clients. 

 

4. Thorough communication

Communication goes hand in hand with networking and emails. Drafting messages that clearly convey your objectives for the day and the projects you are working on, ensures everything gets done on time and without any confusion as to who’s doing what. Good communication also plays a big role in following up on pitches and releases, two common tasks in PR. All in all, the communication skills I have developed during my internship will stay with me throughout my career, wherever it may lead. 

 

5. Stay on brand 

When creating social media content or writing releases, consistency is key. It is important to keep with the tone of the PR company or the client for whom you are creating content. If you are unsure if something fits, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your success is also the company’s success; asking questions will ensure the best outcome for all parties.

 

6. Be resilient

Because of the quick pace of the PR world, high-pressure situations are to be expected. While that may sound scary, learning how to navigate these challenges has provided me with better problem-solving skills, and the ability to stay calm under pressure. Freaking out when things get hard isn’t something you can do in a fast-moving environment. So, take a breath and go into the project with a clear mind, so you can focus on delivering the best work you can. 

 

Working at Breakaway PR has been an informative and educational experience for my career. I am thankful for the opportunity to apply my skills from school in the real world, and learn so many more. This internship has been my first professional experience after graduating and I will carry the lessons and skills I have gained through the course of my career. I encourage those still in school studying PR, to participate in at least one internship while pursuing your degree and after graduation.