If growing up you were dreaming about representing brands, you became a communications student, or you love writing about the media then there are good chances that you were cut out to be a PR professional. However, getting your foot into the door can be many miles away from your dreamland. Competition for PR roles in companies is higher than ever before, so standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly more difficult. There are some quick tips you should know as you go about getting a PR internship. These tips have worked for many PR interns and you can manifest the same results if you put them to good use.
There is one thing you should have in order before you even start thinking about getting a job in PR: have your recommendations and resume up to date so that they are ready to be sent out immediately. The very last thing you would want is to get a lead for an internship and not be able to take advantage of the opportunity right away. Your resume should highlight your skills and experiences that do not relate to the PR industry, such as organization, time management, event planning, and interpersonal skills. Writing is a huge part of a PR professional’s day-to-day life so make sure to do a ton of proofreading, whether it’s your teaching or another professional you know doing the proofreading.
To start you should make a list of your top firms and start pursuing them right away. If you do not have a goal then how will you know where you are headed? Come up with a list of 10 PR firms you would dream of working at. In addition to narrowing your focus making a list of the top firms you want to visit will also result in you researching them and gaining a better understanding of how they operate. Use any information you can find that will help you land an interview. The majority of PR firms don’t start accepting applications for summer interns until 6 months or more in advance. So it is crucial that you make your list as soon as possible so that you can discover and keep track of application deadlines.
LinkedIn is a great resource for interns, that all young professionals should utilize. Once you have a list of your target firms and you have narrowed your focus, it is time to start networking. If you don’t already have a LinkedIn you should get one. Keep in mind that your friends and family are also part of your network and you should make them aware of your goals as well because you never know if they know someone who could help. Following the top PR agencies on LinkedIn is a good way to get a look into their culture and employees. Typically PR agencies will share updates when they are searching for interns on LinkedIn so monitoring their updates on a regular basis could prove to be valuable time spent in the near future.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.