This is a guest blog post written by Vanessa Fioravante-Cuomo, Principal of ANDER & Co.
Congratulations! You were offered the PR intern position at your company of choice, but now what? It can be an uncertain time as you begin to make your way into the workplace. Yet, the right preparation and mindset will allow you to excel in this new and exciting role as a publicist.
Throughout my career in the realm of PR, I have come across many interns who have embodied the top qualities that really stand out and boost your career:
- Be proactive
Find ways to be proactive. It is never a slow day at a PR agency, so if your work starts to dry, ask around to see if anyone needs any assistance. Showcase your tenacity to learn as much as possible. Assume even the smallest responsibilities have a lesson. It takes an army to run the PR machine, so no task is too small to help get the job done.
- Problem-solving skills
Become the person who brings solutions to the table. Account teams already have a long list of to-dos for their clients. Before you approach them with an issue or challenge, see if you can first figure out the solution. It’s an effective way to alleviate workload, while positioning you as an effective problem-solver.
- Write well
Learn how to write well. There isn’t a day that goes by as a publicist when writing is not part of the job description. Strong writing skills are a vital component of PR, and you may be given different assignments to practice mastering the craft, such as assisting with the development of a client activity report or drafting a press release.
- Time Management
The PR world is a balancing act of learning to juggle many clients, ongoing activities, the social media revolution, and staying at the forefront of breaking news. This is where time management comes in. While the bustle of agency life can seem overwhelming, the key to becoming a successful publicist is learning how to prioritize what assignments are most important or are on deadline. It can often take time to get into a groove, but it’s an important attribute to always keep in mind.
- Don’t be afraid to stand out
Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” Take advantage of every opportunity to gain real-life experiences and improve your skill-set. No one begins their career as a seasoned executive, so be prepared to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. Through your internship, you are actively strengthening your skill set early on and promoting your success.
Remember that now is the time to explore these opportunities and decide on whether this is the right career path for you. Most importantly, enjoy the journey and remember that you’re one step closer to achieving professional success.