This post is part of our new blog series that will aim to help young professionals land and make the most of their PR agency internships. For the next few weeks, expect to find useful advice and first-hand experiences from our bloggers and very own whiz-bang team of interns.
At Weber Shandwick we’ve seen some phenomenal interns come through our doors, many of whom have ended up with long-term careers here at the agency. While each intern is different (and that’s a good thing), we’ve noticed a few common denominators for those who have been the most successful. Here are the top five rockstar attributes we look for in every new intern:
- Ready, Set, GO! – A great intern is ready to hit the ground running and gets excited about taking on new projects and challenges. Team members are there to help interns learn and thrive, but it’s up to them to take the lead in their career. Some assignments might seem intimidating, but it’s the intern who dives in head first, isn’t afraid to make mistakes, and more importantly – learns from them – that will be truly successful.
- Details! Details! Details! – The most important trait a PR intern can bring to their team is strong attention to detail. The account team often turns to their intern to handle, or even own, the basis of projects such as compiling media lists and coverage reporting as well as conducting research. By making sure all coverage from a specific announcement has been captured, or having the most updated email on file for a certain reporter allows the whole team to do their jobs better, and focus on other facets of the project. Just as important, it puts their trust in you moving forward.
- Ask for Help – Nothing says “rockstar PR intern” like effective daily communication and the ability to ask smart questions. We don’t expect you to know everything, so if you need help – ask! It’s also important to keep your team updated on your daily or even hourly status and workload. Allowing this transparency, whether it be via email, phone call or face-to-face, makes life much easier for you your team to prioritize workloads, meet deadlines, and stay successful in the face of clients.
- Learning is Earning – Enthusiasm in your account’s subject matter or assigned project goes a long way in the eyes of your team. However, showing a desire to not only learn what is assigned, but also what is “next” or beyond the call of duty shows you are not only dedicated to your role but are looking to improve and grow.
- Say “Hello!” – PR is about making connections, so try and connect with as many people in the office as you can, even if it’s just saying “hi” in the halls. It’s amazing what you can learn from sitting down to coffee with a seasoned colleague, so make time to get to know coworkers from all levels. You’ll leave your internship with new friends and invaluable insight to help further your career.
- BONUS TRAIT: Social Savvy – So you have Facebook and Twitter accounts, but do you know how to use them beyond status posts and @mentions? In today’s communications world, it’s imperative to be fluent with online tools, and equally important – know what it means to build community, engage, and drive influence.
Image courtesy of Oddernod.