Insights from an Intern

From Caitlin McKelvey, a graduating senior who interned with Himmelrich PR this past semester.

As a University of Maryland student, my classroom course content focused on producing various writing products used in public relations. As a Himmelrich PR intern, the understanding of the PR process and how the writing product is used in a marketing strategy became apparent—and came with lessons learned.

My internship was more than intern busy work, and gave me the opportunity to work with a team of PR pros—brainstorming, devising messages, themes and taglines, and finding advertising opportunities—to problem solve so we could meet client goals. I also provided input on proposed project plans and developed pitches for online publications and bloggers. Every day offered new learning experiences and new chances to explore a variety of public relations tactics.

I’m closing this chapter of my education with a new understanding of the process of public relations, especially these key lessons:

– It takes a village—no individual can create public relations success. It takes a team to communicate effectively, and rely on each other for support to create greater opportunity for success.

– Outcome comes from input—the work and experience is equal to the dedication— asking lots of questions, conducting extensive research and putting in the hard work will yield successful results and positive rewards.

– Show, not tell—no one wants to be simply told information. The challenge is in finding ways to make even the most simple concepts or news an opportunity to share, check-in or update.

– There are no mistakes, only learning opportunities—things usually don’t go as planned. Constructive criticism, learning from mistakes, and moving forward means that the next project will be even better.

As my final semester ends, and I prepare for graduation, I move on with direction, goals and a new found confidence in my future in PR—confidence that could only come from my recent real world experience.

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