"Internships can provide an excellent opportunity to gain insight into a career in public relations and provide the experience and connections you need to get your first job," Valerie Simon points out. Here are some tip she gave for making the most out of your summer internship:
- Demonstrate professionalism and dedication early on.
- Keep up with news about the public relations industry.
- "Those who aspire to a career in PR should be on Twitter," Simon said. She suggested using these hashtags on Twitter to keep up with what's going on in the world of PR: #pradvice, #printern, #entrypr.
- Develop a presence on LinkedIn, and monitor groups like #PRintern, #EntryPR.
Here are some tips of my own, based my experiences at my internship thus far:
- Keep up with the news. This can mean news about PR, national news and local news.
- Keep up with the media. The newspaper companies in my area are undergoing restructuring, so information that is current now may be subject to change in mere days. In our business, you cannot take a passive role when it comes to obtaining critical information like this.
- Double-check yourself. Double-check everything, from the facts you're using in releases to the files you are sending out as attachments. I've learned that it is extremely important in this business to be thorough and consistent.
- Become active in your community. Your skills in PR give you a unique way of contributing to worthy causes. These opportunities also give you the chance to build upon your network and your credibility therein.
- Always do your best. Even though mistakes may be made along the way, the fact that you're invested in the company and are trying your hardest also means a lot.
- Ask a lot of questions. Don't hold back! Now is the time to learn.
- Seek constructive feedback. This will only make you stronger- as a person and as a job candidate down the road.
- Watch closely! Observing everything from PR pros' writing styles to the way they handle their business can teach you a lot. There are learning experiences in every moment of everyday.
- Form meaningful relationships. Though you should always maintain professionalism, make conversation, learn from and share with others in a friendly way as well. Don't simply disseminate information to them and be on your way.
- Seek responsibility. This gives you more chances to learn and improve on many skills, from writing to using social media to pitching!