By: Tayah Price, Strategic Planning Chair
During the Fall 2016 semester, I searched endlessly for an internship that was close to my hometown and that would broaden my PR horizons and skill set. I never had any interest in event planning; public relations, there is nothing wrong with that specific area, I just personally did not want the added stress of planning and pulling together an entire event. The mere thought of it makes me nervous, however, I was offered a phone interview from the manager of Vizion Group Public Relations firm, moved on to an in-person interview and was offered the internship on the spot. I was thrilled and excited that my summer internship search finally came to an end and I could focus on the remainder of the school year.
Fast forward to the third week of May and I made the 30-minute commute to the Vizion Group PR office in Berwyn, PA. My emotions were ranging from anxious to excitement on my first day. As I’ve stated, I never had an interest in event planning PR, this was a whole new world to me. The day went better than I could have imagined and I had multiple assignments to keep me occupied each time I went into the office.
I was fortunate enough to have a manager who trusted me and the rest of the interns to handle important clients and tasks. Vizion Group PR is a nonprofit agency that brainstorms ideas and takes the most time and cost-effective approach to reach viewers, consumers and fans. The firm has many clients, such as NBC Sports, American Century, ADT, Purina and many more. I had the honor to work with NBC Sports, specifically the American Century Golf Tournament and the National Dog Show hosted by Purina.
My tasks for the National Dog show, which takes place in November, was working closely with sponsors, volunteers and vendors. I also had the opportunity to help run and manage the National Dog Show Charity Walk Facebook page by keeping the volunteers and fans updated about upcoming special events, I had to reach out to different media outlets, such as Hearst Media publications to help spread the word of the dog show and charity walk. I even met a woman who was in charge of the social media, budgeting and marketing for the dog show and we strategized different ways to reach more audiences. Creating national and regional press releases, fact sheets, flyers, brochures, presentations that highlight the key components in the dog show, maintaining and updating contact list and sending emails to important clients and managing editors were also important tasks that I had no room to make mistakes on.
The other client that I was fortunate enough to work with was NBC Sports, specifically the American Century Golf tournament. I am not a huge sports fan; however, I was eager to take on more PR tasks that my manager was willing to give me. The American Century Golf tournament takes place every year in July in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. Many celebrities, including Justin Timberlake, Stephen Curry and Charles Barkley participate in the game. My manager even gave me the honor to compile and edit an interview that included Charles Barkley discussing his love for Golf, the tournament and Lake Tahoe. The article was published on ACESgolf.com on Northern California Premier’s Golf and Lifestyle Magazine. I never had an article published before, nor was I expecting that to happen. My manager surprised me by reaching out to the editor to have my name featured and showcased.
In conclusion, this summer was filled with exciting and new endeavors and taught me valuable lessons that I can apply going forward in my academic career as well as post-grad life that is rapidly approaching. Even though event planning PR and sports is not where my interest lies, I am grateful to have received this experience and broaden my skill set to become the best PR pro I can be. It’s important to be versatile and to have flexibility, we all have to complete and accomplish things we might not have an interest in or find challenging, but that makes us a better worker and person. My manager was great and really eased my nerves, and because of him and this opportunity, I have found a higher appreciation for event planning PR as well as sports. My advice, don’t go into your internship search with a closed or narrow mindset, your next great internship could be in a place where you might not have thought to even look, almost like a diamond in the rough.