A day in the life of… a PR Intern
PR agencies and communications teams can bring in interns to provide valuable work experience for future PR superstars.
Internships can last anywhere from one week to 12 months and many universities provide the option to complete a placement year as part of the course.
Having interned as a PR Executive myself (five years ago – eek!), and had the pleasure of working with many interns since then, I’ve seen the benefits that internships can bring to both the company and the intern themselves.
We spoke to three current interns to get a brief look into the day-to-day tasks of communications internships in 2017.
Holly Smith – Press Team, University of Derby
11 months into a 12-month internship
9am – Comfortably settled at my desk, I enjoy a mug of green tea as I check through my emails for anything to action. I analyse coverage about the University in our media monitoring system, then write my to-do list; once it’s down on paper I have more space for creativity in my brain and a clear focus for the day.
9:30am – I help to write and proof Derby Daily, the University’s internal bulletin for staff. Everything we produce, whether it’s for internal or external audiences, needs to be spot on, so we always circulate content for proofing.
10am – I attend the Editorial Huddle on behalf of our team, gathering with Digital and Campaigns colleagues to discuss content for the day and also discuss how we can engage with trending topics in the media.
10:30am – I add dates of staff events to our intranet site, making sure it’s always up to date.
11.00am – Media enquiry – today we get a call from media asking for an academic that can speak on the future of Donald Trump’s presidency. The best thing about working in Higher Education is that you have a hub of experts at your fingertips, on everything from Accounting to Zombies! My job is to bring together academics and the media with the aim of generating maximum press coverage for the University.
12:30pm – Legal lunchtime – a joke within the team as we feel it’s the earliest time acceptable to lunch – any earlier and we are starving by 3pm.
1:00pm – Time to tune in to some event planning. I am currently leading on the upcoming hosting of a recording of a BBC radio show in one of our lecture theatres. I have learnt that a detailed planner is your best friend!
2.00pm – Now for some content creation – writing a press release, blog or magazine article. A little bit of note taking and a good playlist in one ear helps to get the creative juices flowing.
3:30pm – Media visit from ITV Midlands as they come to film the latest improvements to our facilities – moments like these test your ability to switch focus in an instant.
4:30pm – Bringing myself back to what I was initially doing, I share my work with the team. I love feedback because I always take it as a learning point.
5:00pm – Home time/gym time to release some of the leftover energy from another busy day.
2 months into a 12-month internship
My name is Ollie Tunmore, I am 20 years old and I study Media Production at Bournemouth University. Currently, I am on placement as a Junior Account Executive at Magenta Associates, a B2B Communications specialist based in Brighton. I work across all the different teams and accounts, so my average day in the office is incredibly varied, therefore providing me with an in-depth understanding of the company. My average day consists of:
08:55 – Arrive at the office, having commuted over 20 miles by car, train and foot… make my morning tea (milk, one sweetener – thanks) and say hello to everyone.
09:00 – Check emails, set up all necessary software, tabs and documents on my laptop, starting with a daily scan of the national and local news for the team/clients.
10:30 – My morning scan, emails and all other various little tasks are usually complete, cue cup of tea number two, and re-settle for my morning tasks. Namely – pitching articles, proof reading, maintaining social media sites, websites and blogs, research tasks and general office assistance.
13:00 – Lunch. Having just moved office and now only a two minute walk from Brighton seafront, I always try my best to get out at lunch to get some fresh air, see the sea, go for a walk around the quaint surrounding streets and stretch my legs. Co-op meal deals feature all-too regularly.
14:00 – Return to the office and settle down with cup of tea number three. After a lovely hour-long lunch, I then get started with the afternoon’s tasks. Now two months in to my placement, I find myself with more responsibility week-by-week. Making phone calls, liaising with clients and attending meetings are becoming more frequent, to my delight.
15:30 – Cup of coffee and some fruit. At Magenta, we firmly believe that good coffee and nutritious snacks are a major key to office productivity.
17:00 – Complete any major tasks for the day and wrap up with half an hour of sorting through emails, replying to clients/team enquiries, monitoring social media.
17:30 – Home time! After a productive, engaging and exciting day at work I then begin my hour and a half commute home. It’s all worth it though. People ask me “Ollie, how’s placement?!” and I tell them without a second of hesitation, “Fab. Without doubt, the best thing I have ever done.”
Charlotte Robson – CCD, London
7 weeks into a 3 month internship
8.50am – I get to the office, fire my computer up and download all the coverage from the previous day. I’ll have some Overnight Oats at my desk and mount the coverage, ready to send off to our happy clients!
9.30am – We like to read the newspapers and daily mags in the office; it’s a great way of keeping up with recent research that might be useful for our clients! The magazines get rotated throughout the different teams in the office – we usually pick up some more coverage, which means more mounting!
11am – If one of our clients has a new product being released, I’ll usually send out an alert or press release at around 11. Emails will come flooding in so I spend an hour or so packaging up samples and getting them ready to go out with the post.
1pm – Lunchtime! I try and bring in a lunch if I’m prepared but if not I’ll head to a local café and pick up a salad. When it’s nice weather I like to sit in a square nearby. If I’m organized, I’ll meet up with friends for lunch and catch up – it’s a great way of breaking the day up!
2pm – I head back to the office and either package more samples up or get writing press releases! This is probably my favourite part of my day, I love sitting down after lunch and getting really stuck into something.
4pm – I spend some time researching influencers who might be worth getting in touch with – it’s always good to keep ahead of the game by finding up-and-coming bloggers!
5pm – The interns leave a bit before the rest of the lovely people in the office because we take the samples to the post office. It’s a nice way of catching up with the other interns and hearing about each other’s day!
Sounds like these interns are learning lots and enjoying a few cups of tea in the process! In future posts we’ll be speaking to more interns and PR Executives that secured their roles through an internship.