A career in public relations can be dynamic, challenging, and incredibly rewarding. However, entering this field often requires practical experience gained through internships. If someone is considering a PR career and wondering how to find and succeed in a PR internship, then there are some tips to make the entire process of becoming a PR intern a bit easier.
Gaining practical experience
Internships provide real-world exposure to PR tasks and challenges, allowing individuals to apply what they’ve learned in a classroom setting.
Building a professional network
Working as a PR intern introduces people to industry professionals who can serve as mentors and potentially offer job opportunities in the future.
It’s a chance to hone in writing, communication, and strategic thinking skills, which are crucial in PR.
Testing the waters
An internship lets individuals explore if PR is the right career path for them before committing to a full-time role.
Begin the internship search well in advance. Many PR internships have application deadlines months ahead of the start date.
Leveraging university resources
If someone is in college or university, they can tap into the school’s career services office, which often has job listings and can help with resume and interview skills.
Online job boards
Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Glassdoor regularly post PR internship opportunities.
Check the websites of PR agencies, corporations, and nonprofits that seem interesting. They often list internship openings in their careers or ‘join us’ sections.
Attend PR-related events, conferences, and seminars to meet professionals in the field. Often, internships are shared through personal connections.
If someone has specific companies in mind, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to inquire about internship opportunities. Craft a compelling cover letter expressing interest.
Using social media
Platforms like Twitter and Instagram can be surprisingly useful. Follow PR agencies, professionals, and relevant hashtags to stay updated on job postings.
Showcase writing and PR-related work on platforms like Medium or a personal blog. A strong online presence can attract potential employers.
Connect with alumni from the same university who work in PR. They might be willing to help students find an internship.
Join organizations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). They often have job boards and networking events.
What does a PR intern do?
PR interns tend to wear many hats and work on diverse tasks. They keep an eye on news related to the organization or clients. This could involve tracking mentions in newspapers, magazines, websites, and social media. They also write press releases, blog posts, social media updates, and other content to promote the organization or clients. PR often involves building relationships with journalists. Interns might assist in crafting pitches and press releases and reaching out to reporters. If the organization or client hosts events or participates in them, the PR intern could be involved in the planning and execution. Interns may conduct research on competitors, industry trends, or potential campaign ideas. The PR intern might be responsible for scheduling and posting content on various social media platforms. Analyzing the performance of PR campaigns using tools like Google Analytics or social media insights is common. Additionally, every job has some administrative work, whether it’s organizing files, answering emails, or coordinating meetings. Also, while it might not be the most glamorous part of PR, being prepared for and assisting with crisis communications is crucial.