A rebrand, website redesign and PR program increase contact form fills by 532% while differentiating edtech provider in crowded space
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Our class of winter interns has made it five weeks, perfecting media relations, research and writing skills. In a matter of weeks, the group has adapted to the fast-paced environment, worked to understand technology clients and their coinciding messaging, and immersed themselves in the Walker Sands culture.
Five weeks in, the public relations preconceptions have been challenged. Here’s what the intern class has learned:
It took far less than the 5 weeks I've been here to learn that agency life is not what I thought it would be--it's much better. Coming from a law firm I wasn't quite sure what to expect but I've gotta say, I love it. I've learned how to tailor press releases and bylines to meet each client's specific requirements, and that each client has different quirks that make them fun to work with. All-in-all, I've learned that being at an agency is a great way to hone your skills, and that there's always someone around to help you brainstorm when you're having a bit of writer's block.
Everyone here is such a great writer. I know I am a strong writer, but it can be intimidating to hand over a pitch to a really great writer and wait for edits. At first, getting pitches back with lots of red was somewhat disappointing. I second guessed my own work a lot. But lots of red marks is okay, because there is always room for improvement and collaboration will only make me a stronger writer.
The best way to learn is from the past. Referencing past pitches, bylined articles, client placements and blog posts, news articles and competitor stories can be helpful when drafting new pitches and articles. Doing so can provide writing style preferences of the team on and the client, as well as give helpful background knowledge on what's been covered in the past. If you’re struggling to come up with new pitch angles, referencing the past can offer insight into story ideas, news angles and data that resonates with reporters.
Though I'm obviously working on the PR side of things, I think I've actually learned what it's like to be a journalist, too. Working in media relations requires quite a bit of empathy, especially when working with reporters. If you can really put yourself in the shoes of the reporter you're pitching and think "What would I respond to if I were this person?," I think your pitch has a better chance of standing out among the many other ones flooding his or her inbox.
Before this internship my experience with public relations was limited... and mostly based off of Samantha Jones. Thankfully, my time at Walker Sands has been quite different from Samantha's. Walker Sands fosters a supportive and kind group of coworkers, and I've been genuinely impressed by how welcomed and valuable I've felt here. Perhaps we'd all be a bit more stylish in The City, but I'll take great people over great shoes any day. Well, almost any day.
What would you add to this list? Tweet us @WalkerSands