In my personal opinion, being an intern is harder than being an actual employee. Be it for credit, for pay or simply for a letter of recommendation, impressing your supervisor is essential to feeling you have your job 100%. While at DBC, one particular accomplishment stands out.
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My internship at DBC PR has thus far shed light on some essential aspects of working PR and without this experience, I would have been at a huge disadvantage when entering the ‘real world’. As an intern, you see, listen and do things that any entry level public relations co-ordinator would you. All the research and writing is crucial to ensuring a communications campaign is realistic and successful. It is important to take in what is going on around you and make note of the little things you think will help you later on.
As a publicist, juggling multiple clients is key and learning how to do this and allocate enough time and every to everyone you represent is so important. As an intern, I would ask for tips on how they do this and my supervisor suggested taking 10 minutes every morning to sift through e-ails and make a to-do list for every client for that day. Crossing everything off the list meant a successful and productive day at work. I think it is lessons like this that make my internship today, a helpful tool for being in PR in the future.
However, there were times when my internship led me to believe I did not want to work in the industry I am in. At times, going after the media can be tedious and hard to secure placements as there is always something more newsworthy that what your client has to say. However, in today’s world, the industry needs people with drive and persistence to achieve this. Rather than dwell on the possibility of a career path change, I chose to focus on harnessing the skills I need to succeed in the world of public relations. I spoke to others in the office about strengthening media relations and how to use platforms where journalists were looking for stories to write. This meant that publicists and journalists met half way to pitch and secure placements for the media. These helpful tactics are what I believe adds value to the internship.
Finally, it takes a lot to determine a career from some textbooks and theories. While the appeal of a certain job may help someone envision themselves in that work, nothing but an internship can truly prepare one for this. It takes understanding the work ethic, environment and arena in which clients compete in to truly comprehend and foresee what someone is getting themselves into. I believe that DBC showed me just this and facilitated the transition from intern to a future publicist.
The expectation at American University is that we as students must study, work, intern, go out and get some sleep all at once. But with a hectic schedule at times it can be hard to create that work life balance. As a senior with some perspective, and as a student that at one point in time didn’t have it all together, I am here to tell you how to spend 24 hours a day, 8 for work, 8 for sleep and 8 for play.
Working at DBC PR means a lot of hard work, everyday of the week. Interns usually begin by creating daily news clips that we send out to the teams. The news clips cover the PR industry and the main headlines of competitor news and updates. It helps keep everyone in the loop with what the rival brands are doing and ensure the client is aware of it too. Mornings are usually slower in that we are glued to our screens researching or creating media lists.
My name is Tala Odeh, I am a student at American University and a senior in the School of Communication. I am a Public Communication major with a minor in Marketing. This semester I am interning at DBC PR+New Media – a boutique public relations agency located in the heart of DC’s shopping District”: Georgetown.
The PR industry is dynamic, fast paced and ever changing. It involves a heavy reliance on technology, social media and interpersonal relations. As practitioners in the industry, it is our job to act as a liaison between the clients we represent and their target audience. The nature of the work itself involves pitching to the media to publicize our product or service, we do this using various forms of above and below the line promotion. This means that we cover traditional and new media such as radio, television, print, direct mail and outdoor advertising to create exposure and publicity for the client.
Working in PR is always something I knew I wanted to do as I needed a job that would entail a lot of people work. I am naturally very sociable and enjoy fostering relationships withs anyone I work with, this means that when dealing with the media, particularly to secure placements for a client, nurturing a relationship with the journalist or media gatekeeper is essential. Int he future, I hope to land a job that involves health promotion and communication, I would like to target the Middle East as that is where I am from and the concept of healthy living is an untapped market.
For now, I need the experience at a public relations firm and luckily, I landed an internship via the American University Career Center Job Board. DBC PR was looking for a spring intern that was willing to dedicate at least two days a week to the position and my schedule allowed for three. After submitting my resume, writing a cover letter and going through two rounds of interviews, I successfully had a placement and the seamless recruiting process reflects my current job.
This blog will document my daily work and learning experiences. I look forward to sharing them and reflecting upon this exciting internship!
AU School of Communication Class of 2014