By: Dylan Buboltz, BPM Public Relations Intern
One of my Communication professors would simplify what public relations means in one short phrase: Communicating with many “publics.” It’s safe to assume that in order to be a successful PR professional, you need to know and understand how different groups of people think, and then look at things from their perspective. You can be lectured on how to do this in the classroom, but going out in the real world and experiencing it can be a whole different story. A PR internship can bring what you have learned in the classroom to real life.
Public relations includes press releases, blogging, advertising, persuasion, and so much more. A PR internship provides hands-on experience, including the distribution of press releases to the media and writing of the actual press release itself. You have the opportunity to write it for an actual client for an actual event that is to take place in the near future. You are advertising and promoting an event in the real world. While writing or persuasion may or may not be your strong suit, your colleagues at your internship are always more than happy to provide feedback and assist you. It is always important to remember they’re always there to help. As important as it is to receive feedback from professors and fellow peers, receiving feedback from a public relations agency is as real-life as it gets.
Secondly, real-life, hands-on experience is second-to-none regardless of your career ambitions. While it may last for a summer, a semester, or even a year, what you experience in a PR internship will stick with you throughout your entire PR career. It may be the little critique that separates a good blog from a great blog or solving that one weakness in your PR skills you have been searching to solve for years.
Also, expertise in social media is invaluable to PR job seekers in today’s media-centric environment. Along with experience of social media in the college classroom, a PR internship educates you on just how important social media is. You practice, practice, practice with it, receive feedback from your colleagues at the office, and eventually become a social media advertising expert.
And lastly, the job market for PR specialists is looking quite promising. A recent study states: “According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for public relations specialists was predicted to grow 12% between 2012 and 2022. Opportunities are expected to be best for graduates with internship or other work-related experience.” So, the field of public relations is there for college graduates to take advantage of, and candidates with internship experience already have a competitive advantage.
The variety of careers available to a PR professional is mind-boggling, and a PR internship should help prepare you for many of these careers. In conclusion, a PR internship will teach you, guide you, and help turn you into the PR professional you desire to be.