When I began interning with Earth Networks – WeatherBug on May 16, 2011, I was in for a pleasant surprise. From previous experience I figured the first day at my internship would be all about adjusting, getting introduced to the people that I would be working with for two months, etc. I figured wrong. My internship director put me to work from the moment I entered the big glass doors in the Earth Networks office. For those of you who do not know, the company that I am interning for is the owner and provider of WeatherBug products and services and has a network of various weather related monitoring systems.
Before starting my internship, the most I knew about weather was from either watching the news or quickly looking at the local weather on my phone (of course I did a ton of research on the company before I started my internship). Little did I know there is much more to know in order to be a great public relations professional at Earth Networks. During my first week on the job I did a lot of public relations activities that, as a student, I learn about but never had the opportunity to actually do. For instance, my intern director had me do a run through of Vocus, a public relations distribution and news monitoring service. This is a valuable tool for me, and I am lucky to that I learned how to use this service. I also wrote a press release, wrote and distributed a media advisory via BusinessWire, and created a “retweeting 101” document to be sent out to meteorologists and other key people in the organization.
On top of all this, I am learning a great deal about the inner workings of a technology company. One of my favorite parts of working here is how nice and supportive everyone is. I am able to tell my boss what I want to learn more about and how she can help me further my skills. My experience so far here has taught me that perception is everything. Here are some tips from my first week:
1. Word choice is everything: Avoid using negative words like “ruin,” or words that assume the reader of the press release is uninformed.
2. Always have someone else read your work: When I was writing a press release I created about four drafts. I sent each of those drafts to my boss for critique and approval. Though it may take longer to send than you want it to, nothing is worse than sending out wrong information.
3. Ask questions: If you do not know what you are doing, do not try to pretend you do. For instance, I had to ask several questions about Vocus in order to understand how to use it.
4. Put your best foot forward: If you are selective and choose the internship that is best for you and what you want to learn, this tip should be no problem! Come to work with a smile on your face and be ready to be the best intern you can be.
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Kurie Fitzgerald.