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Mission Accomplished: Lessons Learned from my PR Internship

04 Aug

For the third and final blog post of my internship, I wanted to share the lessons I’ve learned and how this internship has changed my thoughts, not only about PR, but about working in general. I learned much more than I can possibly put into a short blog, so here are just a few of the biggest takeaways.

1. With a degree in public relations, my options are unlimited.

Before this internship, I had no idea how many public relations jobs are out there. In the past six weeks, I joined Ginger and Matt for two PRSA meetings, where I had the opportunity to meet people working in PR for all types and sizes of businesses in central Arkansas. The variety of PR-related jobs available in Little Rock is mind blowing and SO exciting to me – and I now know that this is a career with many opportunities and mentors available.

2. In public relations, you have to be able to think on your feet.

Every once in a while, I found myself in situations that required a last-minute change of plans. If you read my last blog, you’re familiar with one: the episode of Remy the Great Dane and the torrential downpour. More recently, I was writing about an upcoming event, when it was cancelled about three hours before my article was due. Having to quickly brainstorm other topics showed me that public relations revolves around the outside world – the news, changes in businesses and sometimes the weather. PR writers are the responders (and they make sure everyone is calm while they’re at it). It’s helpful – and even required – to have the ability to work well under pressure.

3. The Oxford Comma: not always the best choice.

This really isn’t news to me – I always knew there was some controversy around the Oxford Comma’s place in this world. I didn’t think it was a huge a deal, though. Several times, Matt took a red pen to my writing and finally pushed me away from the Oxford comma. I learned that journalistic writing is about simplifying without losing meaning – and sometimes you just don’t need that extra comma. Who knew I’d be coming out of my summer internship talking about punctuation?

4. There’s more to a job than the work you’re doing.

I heard this from several members of the Sells Agency team on the first day of my internship. I see how true this is now. You should enjoy the work you’re doing, but you also should enjoy the work environment and the people around you. In the future, I know I want to work in a place where every team member is valued for their skills and has the freedom to be creative and ask questions – just like at Sells Agency. The Sells Agency team has set the bar pretty high for future jobs and internships and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to learn this lesson from them.

5. PR makes the world go ‘round.

I may be biased, but I think public relations is mission critical. In its simplest form, PR is creating, maintaining and strengthening relationships. It is a never-ending task, especially in today’s media-centered world. Public relations touches every single person, every day, whether they know it or not. I love knowing that if I take a job in PR after college, I’ll be doing work that reaches the community and has the potential to make a difference.

Before I started my internship, I had a vague and incomplete picture of what PR was and what my life might look like in the field. One internship does not make me a PR expert, by any means, and I know there’s more that I haven’t experienced, but I now have a better understanding of PR’s role in business, the media and the community.

This internship has been the highlight of my summer. I was excited to go to Sells Agency each morning and learning more every day. I’m sad to see this experience end, but SO grateful to have spent the summer working with and learning from Mike, Matt and Ginger and the rest of the Sells Agency team. I can now confidently say that public relations is what I want to do.

Caroline

Caroline Minor

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