Studying at university and getting a qualification is one way to get your foot in the door , but completing an internship will help you bust that same door wide open.
Industry professionals attest to the importance of graduates being employment-ready, meaning they need to be able to work with clients from their first day on the job.
Completing a degree in public relations will give you an in-depth understanding of strategic communications and PR theories, but finding practical opportunities to apply this knowledge will help to cement your skills in the real world.
Before embarking on work experience, it’s important to consider what your long-term goals are, and do some research to select agencies and firms who maywhich align with what the area of public relations you may want to work in. Be open though – you may not know exactly what you want to do until you try it out!
PR firms often work across fields such as media relations, corporate communications, events management, crisis communications, and media training, and many have a diverse range of clients.
Many organisations publish their client lists, which will show you who they choose to work with and what industries they specialise in.
It’s also important to survey the organisation’s social media presence, which often reveals even more about their clients, as well as their workplace culture and social media management capabilities (after all, a PR firm should know how to brand itself!themselves).
Reading experiences from other people who have interned at certain organisations or reaching out to ask questions is another way to determine if you’re a good fit, as well as giving yourself a solid understanding of the sort of work you’ll be expected to do.
Don’t be afraid to apply for internships because you don’t feel qualified enough – because the whole point of work experience is to learn, and some organisations take interns who are in the first year of their degree.
To get the most out of your time as an intern, it’s important to seek feedback and be open to constructive criticism, as the potential for your work assessed by PR experts can be vital for so that you can honineg your skills.
Like all new tasks, you may not be a PR wizard from your first day doing of work experience, but don’t be afraid to try tasks and ask questions as you are there to learn.
You’ll find with the more experience you gain, the more likely it is you’ll be able to secure a job when you graduate (or even beforehand).