Learning Real-World PR
Interning at Caster has taught me a tremendous amount about the PR world. Until this internship, I had never worked at a PR-specific company. I had some experience from previous internships, but I never held the title “Public Relations Intern,” which was always my main goal. I’ve learned several important PR staples so far.
I’ve learned the major differences between public relations and marketing/advertising. The goal of public relations is to create and maintain a positive image for a brand or client through press outreach and placement, and social media. Marketing and advertising are focused more on generating revenue. While a lot of times PR, marketing, and advertising are jumbled together as one, they are in fact very different. We PR pros have really different day-to-day tasks than marketing and advertising professionals.
I’ve worked on media lists more than anything else at Caster. A media list is compiled with names of journalists and outlets that cover certain topics. To make a media list, you find a journalist’s name, the publication they write for, and contact information. Sometimes you include an article they wrote so you have a piece of their work to refer back to. You want to have a media list so that when your client comes out with a new product, you can refer to the list to see who exactly you want to pitch the product to. Keeping track of media in your clients’ industry is one of the most important aspects of PR because it helps create a community for you to generate press and keep your client relevant.
Now that we use technology to communicate personally as well as for brands, social media literacy is key in the PR world. At Caster, we use Slack, an instant messaging system, to communicate in-office with each other. We also use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to promote clients work. We use Sprout to manage social media, and we also use Pinterest as an online portfolio of clients’ coverage. Most companies and journalists have social media accounts or online portfolios so you can stay updated with what they’re currently covering. It’s crucial to understand how to use social media as a PR professional. Social media is quick and efficient, which is why it’s so popular for both internal and external communications.
Exceptional communication skills, both written and oral, are a must. You need to be able to effectively communicate your thoughts to others in every way possible. If you’re emailing someone, have someone else read over your message before you send it so that you make sure it’s understandable, or proof read your own posts before sending for clarification and grammar errors. It’s so easy for people to misinterpret what you say, so the delivery of the message is important, as well doing so in a concise way.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @kristenmnorton to see what I’m up to during my last month at Caster!