For the past two summers, I have been interning at a suburban newspaper in my hometown.
As a public relations major, I am often asked why I continue to pursue internships in the journalism realm.
I always give the same, one-word answer: experience.
It is common for people to overlook how connected journalism and public relations are. There is a co-dependency between each field because professionals in both spheres rely on one another to do their jobs effectively.
For example, a PR professional needs to pitch their client’s or company’s events or findings to media outlets for exposure, and journalists need to have contact with PR professionals so they are able to write important material for their publications.
Throughout my internship, I have had the opportunity to communicate with many PR professionals and get an inside look at what journalists expect from them.
I’ve been sent the good, the bad, and the ugly press releases and media alerts, and I’ve had many conversations with journalists about their pet-peeves regarding PR outreach.
I have also been able to network with the PR professionals I reach out to, and often times, I have made a connection with them regarding their PR background.
Now, as I pursue other PR opportunities, I will be able to look upon my experience and I will be able to tailor my press releases to the needs and preferences of journalists.
Also, having that insider perspective may be helpful in landing PR internship opportunities in the future.
Being able to say that I have explored various realms of media and communication shows that I have many abilities and levels of experience, which may be the factor that could put me ahead of other candidates in an interview setting.
Have you had an internship in a field that has helped you in your journey towards becoming a PR professional? If so, we would love to hear from you!