5 Things I Learned as a PR Intern
Beginning my final semester of college, I was unsure of where my major in public relations would take me after graduation. Starting an internship with Caster Communications was exactly what I needed to help me identify how I wanted to kick off my career in PR. Throughout my final semester of college with Caster, I was able to learn the core skills that every PR professional needs, as well as understand what it was about the profession that I loved so much.
1. The Importance of Teamwork
Before interning with Caster, I had very little experience working with a team. Within just a few days of being here, it was clear to see that teamwork is cherished and important to the work that Caster does, and in PR as a whole. I was able to be a part of a team of up to five or more people, brainstorming ideas, assisting in tasks and supporting the team on interesting research and writing projects for clients. In addition to learning a lot about how to work on a team, I also sharpened my oral and written communication skills as I learned the importance of cross-team communication and updates on the overall project timeline and key deadlines.
2. Time Management Skills
Prior to working in a PR firm, I admittedly didn’t possess the organizational qualities needed in this profession. The fast-paced, always-changing environment of the Caster office helped me learn how to organize my tasks and prioritize what was important. I utilized to-do lists, tracking docs and other tools to help me stay on track and organized when I had multiple tasks in progress at once.
3. How to Bolster My Writing and Editing Skills
At Caster, I am given the opportunity to practice my writing and editing skills daily — whether it be writing for blogs or starting drafts for clients, I have become a much better writer over the course of my internship. I also worked on my writing pieces with other members of my team who taught me how to condense my writing, which in turn also helped me develop better editing skills as well. I know that writing is an important skill to have in the PR profession and as I became a better writer, I was forced to become a better editor as well. My teammates showed me several tips and tricks on how to condense my writing to showcase my thoughts in a clear and concise manner.
4. The Importance of Research
One of the first things I learned in my training as an intern was the importance of research. Each day I begin my daily task of performing industry and client research, consisting of searching for client and competitor mentions, as well as general research on anything that has been occurring in the technology industry for that day. The majority of the projects I’ve worked on at Caster begin with background research before I get started. Caster has taught me why it is important to stay updated on research practices and which tools to use to research efficiently.
5. The Use of Basic PR Tools
Caster has introduced me to the many tools that PR professionals use daily. Before becoming an intern for a PR firm, I had no knowledge of how important Twitter would be — Twitter is used for a variety of purposes like industry research and to get in touch with press contacts. Caster taught me how to use my Twitter account to my advantage in my daily tasks. I have also been given the opportunity to sharpen my Microsoft Office skills with daily tasks that require I build media lists and research lists in Microsoft Word and Excel. One of the most important industry tools that Caster has introduced me to is Cision. I use Cision almost every day to find press contact information and to create lists related to the pitch or research I am crafting at the time.
I am very grateful for the introduction to the world of PR that Caster Communications has given me. I find each day that I am learning something new and sharpening my skills as I move closer to becoming a graduated public relations professional.
Follow me on Twitter, @PaytonStLawren1, to see how I continue to grow and learn from the Caster crew about the crazy world of PR.