My previous internship, and most challenging/rewarding one yet, was at a public relations agency. Working in an agency that is all things PR is an incredibly different experience than my past internships, and I hope to share my most recent "learnings" with my fellow PR students.
1. Write or die. If you have any interest in the field of PR but have no interest in writing - as they say, "don't quit your day job." Or find yourself a new one. Because, anyone that even has the faintest interest in PR must have superior skills in writing. Writing is the beating heart of PR, and we could not survive a second in this field without having a smoking pen.
2. Be inquisitive and curious about the world. In just about every sector of PR, we have to get to the root of a situation, quickly and effectively, so that we can understand it completely before presenting it to our publics. This requires us to ask as many questions as Socrates. We can't just know what happened. We need to know why it happened and what led up to that.
3. Take every opportunity to read. You probably already do it more than you think. We are constantly barraged with information at all angles, and there may be a small portion of it that we filter through and allow ourselves to find out what the hoopla is about (celebrity rumors circling on Facebook).
But, go ahead and carve out some time to read a book from cover to cover. Reading regularly exercises your memory, improves your vocabulary, and I've found that it often provides me with more inspiration to write.
4. Be sociable. And by sociable, I don't mean bore everyone around you with your latest ventures, weekend plans, etc. The art of being truly sociable rests on the rare skill of being a good listener.
In case you haven't been tipped off already, the one subject that people like to talk about more than anything else... is themselves. So, ask someone questions about themselves that are natural and not probing. Draw out details and establish common ground to forge a connection.
5. Be stylish. I probably should've placed this higher on the list. Being that we are in the business of dealing with people, we have to always always always dress to impress. There is so much competition in today's world - what reason do they have to listen to you anyways?
A potential client may take one look at you and decide (on a harsh first impression) that yours is not the kind of image that they want their company to be associated with. Words of wisdom out of the mouth of my mother: "If you take yourself and your appearance seriously, others will take you seriously."
These are just a few lessons that I've found to be golden in the ways of navigating this wild and wonderful of PR. I may be publishing a follow-up post very soon, so do you have any ideas on what I should include in the next? Talk to me.
Until the next, Fraps -