4 Key Things I Discovered as a Tech PR Intern
This summer marked my first experience in the PR world and I was lucky to join the team. I quickly learned that this dynamic, fast-paced environment required hard work, flexibility and a positive attitude. Throughout my internship, I learned four key things that are necessary as a tech PR intern.
1. Be Willing to Try Anything
One thing that I was certain of when I began my internship was that I was curious about PR. I knew I was there to learn, so it was important for me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things. To do this, I had to be available for my coworkers and be willing to take on a variety of tasks. I learned that the best way to learn is to take something head on and try it yourself. PR professionals handle a variety of different tasks each day, so it is essential to be both flexible and interested in whatever may come your way. An internship is the perfect place to stretch your skillset in order to get valuable feedback and understand everything that a career in PR entails.
2. Be Organized
I’ve always been an avid to-do list maker, and when I began my internship, I quickly realized I was not alone. It is not only helpful, but necessary, to organize your daily tasks in list form. Whether it’s a written list in a notebook or prioritized emails in your inbox, organization is key. An intern’s role is often to help various people on several accounts, so it is vital to stay on top of all your tasks. Writing lists helps outline what you need to do that day, which is necessary for time management and for prioritizing which items are more time sensitive than others. As an intern fresh in the PR world, I also found it helpful to make notes each day so it is easy to look back and reference work I did earlier.
3. Absorb, Absorb, Absorb
As an intern, I wanted to make sure to soak up as much information as I could. I found it rewarding to stay up to date on major newspapers, read any PR news related articles sent within our company, and browse through any tech news sections to get a better sense of what’s going on in the tech industry.
In addition to actively learning from endless information online, it is also important to be sensitive to the information directly around you. When you receive feedback, make a note of it and improve from it. I found it helpful to follow up on projects I helped with in order to see how my work fit into the bigger picture of what my team was doing. Being attentive to what your coworkers and team are doing helps you understand what they expect of you. Just as every client operates in a unique and personalized way, different coworkers may prefer different styles. It is important that you are attentive and flexible depending on whom you are working with or what task you are working on.
4. “It’s PR, Not ER“
The above quote was one a coworker told me in my first weeks of my internship. This is useful to keep in mind if you are in a time crunch or feel overwhelmed, which is not uncommon in a PR role. It is much more productive to remain calm and collected rather than hastily try to get everything done at once and risk making critical mistakes. If you manage your time and prioritize, you will be able to stay on top of your tasks and avoid defaulting to panic mode.
Last But Not Least…
While we are all expected to work hard, and the team definitely does that, one of my favorite parts of my experience was how helpful and encouraging the atmosphere is. I was grateful that I was surrounded with smart, energetic professionals who were very willing to show me the ropes.
As an intern, it is crucial that you take advantage of your time with your coworkers to ask about their experience and gain their insight on a career in PR. At Walker Sands, there are plenty of opportunities to do so, including mentor meetings, office events and team outings. As I end my summer internship, I am excited to say that my first glimpse into the PR world will certainly not be my last.