As an intern, I was able to have one-on-one sit down meetings with each member of the team. This experience was one of the most eye opening for me because we were able to ask any questions we wanted. We learned about the team member’s past jobs and experiences, how to make ourselves more marketable to employers, their favorite projects, how the industry has changed and where it is going, and their advice for aspiring PR professionals. There were so many gems and takeaways that I could write about, but some of the most important were mentioned numerous times among members of the D+P team:
Be curious and eager to learn.
This is good advice in general, but when it comes to public relations being curious and eager to learn is especially important. Whether you work in an agency or jump from one in-house or corporate position to another, PR professionals are exposed to new organizations and companies that deal with different industries and ways of doing things. Being inquisitive about how different organizations work, what their strategies and tactics are, and just the general ins and outs of the business are part of the job. Trying out and immersing yourself in different industries and experiences makes you more well-rounded, and having them under your belt will only benefit you in the end.
Write, write, write.
Similar to journalists, storytelling is a PR professional’s craft. Every member of the D+P team said to practice writing as much as we can because if you have exceptional writing skills, you will no doubt succeed. Something as simple as writing in a journal every day, reading other people’s works, or even creating your own blog to write about things you’re passionate about will help you hone your writing skills. If you want to see results, you have to put in the work.
Make sure you love what you do.
Again, this is good advice for anyone in any field, but loving what you do is crucial. If you find yourself going into the office everyday and not being excited or even happy to be there, then you have to make some life changes. Another great thing about public relations is that you can basically do anything you want with it; you can work in politics, entertainment, finance, law, retail – you name it. Every industry needs a communications expert or team, whether they know it or not. A person that loves what he or she does is good at their job, and that comes without even trying. PR professionals should want to help their clients, want to be the reason their organization gets publicity, and should want to convey compelling stories about a brand or topics they love. Make the industry work for you and your interests, and it will pay off.
Along with the valuable experience I’ve gained in writing, traditional and digital PR, research, client work and networking, I have learned lessons that will help me prosper in my life and career. I am beyond thankful for the time I’ve had with Devine + Partners. If the next group of interns feel even a sliver of the gratitude I’ve felt throughout my internship, then they are definitely going to have an amazing experience as well.