Words to work by, the best advice given to me from internship
It’s the first day of your internship. It’s time to become a sponge and soak up all the information given to you. It’s going to come at you and you have to be ready - everything from company policy, the rundown on agency history, software tutorials, proper email etiquette, and how your boss takes their coffee. Yes, the rumours are true, interns do coffee runs. But, so does everyone else.
With every bit of new information coming at you from all ends, it can be tough to adjust. It’s worth it though. Every day you will walk away learning something new. During my first week as an intern, I was given three important pieces of advice that I still repeat in my head, even after four months with energi. Not only are they solid pieces of advice for an intern, they are words every PR practitioner, novice or experienced, should practice.
Deadlines are paramount. On my first day, the repeated adage of “flag your deadlines if you can’t make them,” seemed repetitive. But when deadlines are fast approaching, it’s in your best interest to be transparent with your team as soon as you know there’s even a tiny chance that a deadline won’t be met. The sooner, the better. Even if it’s the day of, flag it right away instead of holding back in fear of disappointing your team. The best way to keep your team happy is by keeping them in the loop at all times—even when there’s bad news.
Cover all your bases
Speaking of keeping your team in the loop, PR is about keeping all of your bases covered, at all times. Make sure records are kept in all forms: notes from client meetings, email chains, receipts and drafted documents. The biggest favour you can lend to yourself is to have a paper trail to cover your butt. It’s your saving grace to always rely on if and when a task is questioned. Agency is a busy environment with multiple things on the go, stay organized. The proof will help keep track of what has been done for billing and client satisfaction.
Treat everyone like a client
Maintaining positive client relations should happen inside and outside of the office. Treat your mentors, bosses and colleagues with the same degree of professionalism when completing tasks and communicating with them. It’s important to maintain not only the company’s reputation for excellent work, but to build and maintain your own.
It is your responsibility to make sure everything you produce is error free. From a media pitch to a brief update email, all items leaving your inbox should be 100 per cent error free. Practice this and you will produce a better quality of work. Managing relationships is half the battle. Focus on building strong relationships with your team and you will earn their trust. When they know you’re trust-worthy, you’ll be invited to work on bigger projects, bigger clients, and maybe even land a promotion.
During your first internship, you will walk away every day with new information you didn’t know yesterday. Keeping these pro tips in your back pocket will make your internship a success. Become a sponge, soak it all in and work hard!