From intern Whitney Clemmons:
In class, we are lectured about cultivation theories and Edward Bernays. We spend hours working on mock campaigns and press materials for faux clients without ever getting to see the final product of our hard work and effort. Because of this, it wasn’t until my internship at Himmelrich PR that I realized how rewarding and satisfying it is to see the end result of “good thinking” and great ideas.
I remember being frustrated by the amount of research that needed to be done for a mock-campaign in a PR Writing class. One of my first responsibilities as an intern was to research media opportunities for a client. I realized that thorough work and planning goes a long way; it was great to see a live morning news segment where the client was featured in the media I had identified.
Learning how to draft press releases and compile a media kit for class is the easy part, but preparing and organizing for an actual event doesn’t come so easy. I worked on the opening of a major project, which consisted of weeks of research, planning and learning a great deal about the background and details of the client. All of this led to a press conference attended by the Washington Post and a VIP Grand Opening Ceremony. Seeing how my work led to this was especially exciting.
No in-class lesson could have prepared me for the amount of coordination required to plan events sponsored by our client. I attended weekly meetings and conference calls with the client, and tracked the progress of our many tasks. I spent my last day at Himmelrich PR helping brainstorm goals and ideas for more events for this client in 2014.
It’s great that my professors have stressed the importance of interning throughout my college career. My college coursework gave me the foundation for understanding what a PR professional does; however, no class could have prepared me for what to expect in this ever-changing industry. Gaining firsthand experience helps in determining where you want to take your career. In my time at Himmelrich PR I was able to get a dose of PR reality by helping with the work and, even better, getting to see the end result.