One thing I’ve learned this summer is that time flies. It seems like just yesterday I was beginning my first day as an intern here at Gabriel Marketing Group (GMG). Over the course of the last three months, I’ve picked up a few lessons from working in the public relations field that I’d like to share.
1. The importance of social media. Whether occupying myself during a boring lecture or interacting with friends, my college years have turned me into quite the social media enthusiast. However, I never realized how vastly important Twitter and Facebook could be in the professional world. With more consumers online than ever before, social media has a prominent place among PR professionals. Whether they’re sharing the release of a client’s new product or an article with great new marketing tactics, PR folks are constantly using multiple social media platforms to get the message out.
2. Excel is your new best friend. Although Samantha Jones portrayed the life of a PR pro as all glitz and glam, let’s get real. PR certainly has its great moments, but it’s also focused a great deal on the basics. I learned very quickly the reliance on excel spreadsheets. Whether it’s administrative work, media lists with hundreds of contacts or media trackers, it’s extremely important to be well acquainted with the program.
3. Ask Questions. My kindergarten teacher really was telling the truth: the only bad question is the one that doesn’t get asked. Certainly as an intern there are questions that can be answered with a little research, but when it comes to clients and other important tasks, don’t be afraid to ask for direction. Your supervisors would probably rather you ask for clarification then to create more work for them by doing something incorrectly.
4. It’s all about teamwork. One of the reasons I was drawn to GMG was because it is a small company that could provide a great environment in which to learn. Although I may not have worked with senior-level executives on every project, given the company’s size I still got a tremendous amount of exposure to them and learned a great deal about the importance of teamwork just from listening in on their team conference calls and client calls. With employees all over the country, teamwork and internal communication have been key factors of the company’s success.
5. Yes, you are the intern. One of the most valuable things I learned this summer was to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. No matter what tasks or assignments I was working on, it was important to keep in mind that, as the intern, my role was to learn. Listening to and taking advice from your superiors can be one of the most beneficial moves in your career. They are there to teach you and it won’t do you any good to not take advantage of the opportunity.
Working for a PR firm that primarily services technology companies gave me the chance to be exposed to a new field I hadn’t yet encountered. With these newly acquired insights and experiences under my belt, I am so thankful for the opportunity and proud to move forward and onto my next adventure.