By: Brittany Schoonover – Campaigns Manager
This summer, I am spending my days interning in the beautiful city of Philadelphia. I am interning for a company called The Star Group; a integrated communications agency that works with a large array of clients from law firms, to restaurants, to pharmaceuticals, to many more. I am both their PR intern and some days during the week I work in their media relations division.
For PR, I have been working with the VP of Social Media on a really great account with Bold Organics (a gluten-free pizza). I am in charge of creating their facebook and twitter posts, along with a schedule that they follow. This is awesome because I actually get to see all of my posts on their official pages. One tip that I really would suggest would be to really focus on understanding all the components of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc because this is the direction that the PR industry is leaning towards. We are all accustomed to using twitter and facebook in our everyday lives, but using it as a business is a completely different atmosphere. Other than that, I do a lot of research (currently about gluten-free celebrities) but normally on different media outlets, blogs, etc.
When I get the chance to work in the media relations division, I must say I am becoming to have a much higher respect for media buying/planning. One of my employees said, “media relations is 50% art and 50% science”. Which I completely found to be 100% true. Just to think that every advertisement you see everyday has been strategically placed by someone, somewhere, in some company is crazy to me. One of the perks I found out about being in the media relations department is that you get a lot of free stuff and clients are always taking you out to fancy lunches. Awesome, right? I’m still waiting for my chance to score some free phillies tickets, but we will see if that ever happens.
Aside from getting a lot of valuable experience, I like that I have gotten a vision of what working in PR truly is like. It’s not like the stereotypical image of being “Samantha Jones”, even though I do get to park valet everyday and get to wear adorable outfits with high-heels but that’s beside the point. I have found that it really is a tough area to work in. PR is essentially the most important aspect in the business world because we are in charge of creating a specific image that will be seen by the public. That’s why it is so important to understand the industry as a whole so you can keep up with its ever-changing standards.
So while you’re out laying in the sun, start reading up on your favorite companies or keep up with different PR blogs. That way, you will be one-step-ahead of the competition. Also, start planning ahead about what you want to get involved in during the school year to gain experience; that way, when you get to school you’ll be able to relax and not be rushed to find things to put on your resume.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summers and I can’t wait to see everyone in the fall!