“3 Key Differences for a New PR Intern”
Growing up, I thought I knew what I wanted. I thought I wanted to be a front-of-the-line, hard news, breaking stories…journalist. Up until one year ago, I thought that I had everything figured out. After truly seeing a glimpse of the unglamorous and tiring world that is broadcast journalism, I realized that it was not what I wanted after all.
I have always loved writing and interviewing, so if not journalism, then what? My internship here at 10Fold has opened my eyes to a field that I was not familiar with prior, and I am so grateful that I gave PR a chance. I am enthralled.
I may not be reporting breaking news on your local television, but I have found a new passion within the world of public relations. I am still able to interview, write, read, and ask as many questions as I want — just through a different “lens.”
Allow me to properly introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Behring, and I’m a rising senior at the University of Alabama studying political science and communications. I came to 10Fold with a communications background (specifically writing, editing, and social media). My previous internship was at ABC 7 News in San Francisco; and though it was an eventful job, it was not where my heart lied in regards to a career path.
I’ve learned that there are many overlapping skills required in both PR and journalism, which has made this transition both smooth and alluring! For PR, it’s important to “think like a reporter,” and understand how the media works with pitches and stories. Advanced writing skills, strong interpersonal communication skills, and quick responses are strong points for us “ex-journos,” as we cross paths into the “other side.” Here are some significant differences I’ve noticed while working as a PR intern:
1. PR work is diverse. During my time as a broadcasting intern, I only had a few jobs that I was given, and they were limiting. Of course, the stories I would write and edit would be diverse, but my days just seemed so routine. In PR, each person plays an important role in the company, and each day new tasks arise. I’ve loved being asked to edit pitches and reports, to listen in to calls, to do briefing sheets, and to do research for another team member. Being an intern here at 10Fold truly makes me feel like I’m a “part of the team.”
2. The people skills are very different. In journalism, it felt like the interpersonal levels between a witness and the journalist were fleeting, and only needed for a short period of time to get the best story. In PR, the relationship extends far beyond that. It feels like each employee in PR forms a strong bond with a client — and that bond is built off of trust, open communication, and understanding.
3. There is always something new to learn. This is an embarrassing confession, but about a week into my internship here at 10Fold, I was asked to “hyperlink.” I didn’t know what hyperlinking even was! I asked someone and they taught me, and we had a good laugh about it afterwards! The moral of that confession is that there is always someone willing and able to help you grow and progress as a PR intern. The people I am surrounded with are so kind, outgoing, passionate, driven, and hardworking. In journalism, it felt like such a rush…I never felt that someone would sit down and help me understand a task. In PR, it is a different atmosphere and a different pace. Two things I love! It feels like I am welcomed, even mistakes are welcomed — because mistakes mean that we can grow and learn from them.
Lastly, there is an important piece of advice that I was told once that I would like to share: “Remember to always keep operating as a journalist.” Being in PR, it is so crucial to always remember how I got here, and the skills I learned to excel in this field. Though they may be two different fields, there are similarities that I will carry with me throughout all my future endeavors in public relations.
Thank you, 10Fold, for believing in an “ex-journo” and for giving me such a rewarding opportunity. I’ve learned so much about myself, about what I am capable of, and that just because one door closed — another door was bound to open. Thank you for showing me that that door was 10Fold.
Summer 2016 Intern