If there is one major thing I’ve learned as a public relations intern at Roop & Co., it is that time moves incredibly fast. It feels as though just yesterday I took my first steps into the office, and now I am finishing up my internship with an abundance of knowledge in the industry and several tools that I will be able to use as I start to take the next steps of my career.
As I finish up my PR internship, I want to share five of the main takeaways I have learned, which I hope will be beneficial to future interns and professionals interested in the PR field.
1. Get to Know Your Clients
Working in an agency environment is a great opportunity and a unique experience. It gives you the chance to work on many different projects for a variety of clients, all at the same time. With that being said, you often work with clients you are not familiar with and in industries that you might not have even known existed.
It is important to get to know your clients—and to know them well. Do your research. Take the time to look at their websites and social media channels to learn everything you can about the company. Even reach out to them to make a personal connection with those who work for the business.
2. Do Your Research
Research is huge. In college classrooms, you are told that research is important for this field, but this PR internship showed me just how much time and effort goes into research conducted by a strategic communications agency. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes research that goes into just getting to know the clients, as well as the industry that they are in.
When doing research, always remind yourself there is probably more information you can dig even deeper into. Research helps to support your recommendations to clients, so it’s important to be prepared. Make sure to always ask questions about how and why you are doing something.
3. Ask Lots of Questions
The purpose of an internship is to get real-world experience with guidance from professionals already in the industry, so it is important to remember that they are there to help you! Asking questions is crucial. Even if you think it isn’t important, ask anyways because it might be.
Ask your team questions about more than just work-related topics. Ask them about their journeys, the things they are passionate about, what got them to their roles today, or even just what their go-to coffee orders are. Get curious and take advantage of being surrounded by people who truly want to help you and see you succeed.
4. Challenge Your Writing Skills
PR involves a lot of writing, so take the time to continually perfect and challenge your writing skills. Chances are that you will be writing about things you didn’t even know existed. It is important to be able to write well and effectively change your tone of writing to match the clients you are working for and their individual brands.
Getting feedback on your writing is also extremely helpful. Ask multiple people to look at the piece you are working on and see what feedback they can offer. Writing is a skill that can always continue to be improved.
Throughout the past four months, I have learned a lot. From writing blogs and press releases, to generating social media content, to sitting in on client meetings and so much more. I know my knowledge and skillset has expanded greatly during my time as a PR intern.
However, one of the most valuable things I have learned is to take it all in and learn. I’ve kept in mind that, no matter the assignment or task I’m working on, my pure role as an intern is to learn. Taking the time to listen to the feedback and advice from my team has been crucial. They were there to teach and guide me, so I wanted to take advantage of being in a position where so many people were working together to help me grow in my career.
I am very thankful for my time as a PR intern and know that I have grown as a professional because of the guidance and direction from the Roop & Co. team. Their hard work and passion for their clients does not go unnoticed.