On my first day as an intern at AMP3 PR, an account executive named Megan Reeves handed me a cute notebook with colorful sketches of women in designer dresses on the cover. I could not help but smile awaiting the adventure that was to come. I also realized in that moment that I was about to be put to work. In my first day alone, I sat in on a prospective client meeting and even wrote a blog post that was published on the company website. On that first day I was already experiencing more than I could have imagined.
Now at the end of my 3-month internship at AMP3 PR, I am grateful for the lessons I learned and the experience I gained at this boutique fashion and lifestyle public relations agency. To conclude my time as an intern, I have created a list of some tips, learnings, and realizations that I hope will help future interns make the most out of their internship experience.
1. PR is hard work
Let me break it down for you. Before entering the field of public relations, I will admit that what intrigued me most was getting to attend cool events, business travelling, getting complimentary client products, and getting to be part of the “scene”. While all of these things can be perks of the industry, a newbie to the field should know that it’s not all fun and games. I learned very quickly that there will be many pitches that go unread, lots of “no thank you’s” to be heard, and extremely busy days where things feel like they’re falling apart at the seams. These are just the daily frustrations of any job though, and they quickly pass, so it’s important to focus on what’s really important, and that’s putting 1000% into your work and not getting sidetracked by the glitz n’ glamour that can come with a fashion pr career.
2. Write, write, and write some more
PR requires a lot of creativity and strong communication skills, one of the most important being an ability to write well. From press releases and media pitches, to company newsletters and simple client emails, there are so many daily tasks that require strong writing skills. It’s important to not only practice your writing skills but also play around with different writing styles until you figure out what gets your message across best.
3. Boutique PR agencies vs. Large PR agencies
I’m lucky enough to have been able to experience a PR internship at both a large agency and now with AMP3 PR, a smaller boutique agency. My experience at AMP3 has been a major contrast to the larger agency, and would suggest that if you are trying to break into PR with little to no experience, it’s beneficial to start off small and potentially work your way up.
Because a boutique agency is made up of a small driven team, you are immediately tasked with the responsibilities that are given to any other team member. I appreciated my experience at AMP3 PR because there was no time wasted between learning how to do something and then being tasked with projects and tasks that any other publicist would do. With my experience interning at a larger agency, it was much harder to get tasked with real, challenging work experience, you simply scratch the surface of everyday publicist duties.
4. Step out of your comfort zone
Do you have a creative idea that you think would benefit the agency? Don’t hold it back, share it with the team. The worst thing someone can say is “no”, and in my experience, showing your initiative is often received very positively. I came up with an idea for a women in business blog series called “#AMP3GirlBoss”, that not only was approved but developed into something greater than I had originally imagined. Take that leap beyond what you are familiar with because you never know where it will lead you.
5. Knowledge is power
The PR field is constantly changing and evolving, so following new developments in the industry and bulking up on as much knowledge as you can will definitely help you stand out among other applicants. The lines between pr, marketing, sales, and even advertising have become more blurred than ever, which makes it important to teach yourself some general knowledge about each industry. Come into your internship knowing some basic marketing speak and it will play nicely with the pr agency you’re working with.
6. Time Management
PR involves a lot of daily tasks, and it’s not a 9-5 job, you will be working overtime quite frequently and waking up earlier than expected to get the job done. I learned that time management and prioritization are key to a well balanced and productive day at the office. Ask what urgent tasks need to be done, then create a list of tasks from most important to least important and check them off as you go throughout the day. Try not to get bogged down working on one task for too long, set dedicated blocks of time for each task and move from one to the next. It will ensure that more gets done and nothing falls through the cracks.
Thank you AMP3 PR for a lovely internship experience!
-Danielle Layton (AMP3 PR Fall 2017 Intern)
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