Ever since I was 12-years-old, I’ve had the dream of working in fashion and lifestyle through the communications industry. Whether it was in a PR agency, a fashion publication, or an in-house communications department, I knew 100 percent that’s what I wanted in my future.
Over the years, I followed fashion magazines, social media influencers, and held numerous journalism internships, some of which focused on lifestyle. However, I always felt that I was missing the experience of working in public relations so this past year, I made the decision to apply and accept a summer internship at AMP3 Public Relations in New York City.
Needless to say, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I’ll admit, having never worked directly in PR before, I was just as nervous as I was excited to embark on this journey. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was shaking on my way to the first day on the job.
However, by the end of that first day, I felt so at home. The team at AMP3 was so approachable, informative, and helpful. They greeted me with a cute pink notebook and a card welcoming me to the company and wishing me the best. That was a tell-tale sign that from there on out, the attention would be incredibly personalized and supportive.
I went on to have the best experience of my life, both with the work I was doing and with the people here at AMP3. I’ve always known the importance of a good work environment and support from your fellow colleagues. Ever since my first day up until my last, I’ve always felt eager going to work knowing that I love being with the people that surround me. (They always had some awesome playlists to get us through the day, even if Megan would sing along!)
Most of all, the experiences they provided me with went above and beyond what I could have ever expected. I have written pitches to media contacts and influencers, organized sponsors and vendors for events, ran social media accounts, sat in on meetings, answered phones, worked on proposals, gathered various contact lists, and so much more.
The most exciting part was that I was getting real assignments just like the other team members, which went to show the importance of my work and their trust in me to do it properly. Of course, through all this hands-on work, I’ve learned some PR lessons along the way that I thought were important to share. Here are my top 3:
The Answer is Often “No”:
In PR, we pitch our clients’ brands to the media nearly every day and hear a lot of “no thanks” as a response, or even no response at all. This is very common in the PR industry because journalists get bombarded with countless pitches every day on top of their other responsibilities. I remember how offended I was at first thinking “But these are great products! Don’t you want to write about this? We’re putting a story right in your lap.” However, I quickly learned there is a certain art to pitching in a way that gets noticed, which leads me to my next lesson.
The Art of Pitching:
Pitching is not simply sending mass emails explaining your product or brand. In fact, it’s much more personalized than that. The best tips I’ve received are to tailor your pitches to relate to each specific contact you’re reaching out to. Know what they write about, see what they like to cover, and what is of interest to them. Next, keep the pitch clean, clear, and never get too long and wordy. The last thing you want is your contact trying to weed through the pitch looking for the important info. In addition, provide images or links to that important information so that people can, again, quickly browse. If you act like an efficient resource with a clean story that relates to that contact, they’re more likely to be interested.
Organization is Key:
There is so much going on in the everyday life of a PR professional, it’s easy to forget what to do or you may miss a deadline. You’re in contact with so many people every day for different reasons that they can often get mixed together. Make check lists, categorize emails, create folders and bookmarks; really anything that helps you stay on top of your work and busy schedule. Trust me, it can get crazy but then again, there’s never a dull moment!
Overall, these are just a few of the many lessons I learned from all my day-to-day tasks. Looking back, I found that while I was nervous to be a part of this new experience, trusting my skill set and background from journalism provided me with the ability to tackle these responsibilities. I guess that would be my biggest piece of advice: use the communication skills that you’ve developed in the past and use that to your advantage in your PR work, whether it’s verbal communication, writing skills, social media know-how, etc.
AMP3 PR gave me the opportunity to use the skills I had coming into this internship and develop them using a new skill set I achieved through this position. I want to thank AMP3 for taking a chance on me, for allowing me to be part of countless, unforgettable experiences, and for trusting me to do my best work. Most of all, I want to thank them for making my dreams from 10 years ago finally come true! This was truly the experience of a lifetime.
Thank you AMP3!
Samantha Grant (AMP3 PR Summer 2018 Intern)
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