Life is a juggling act. From staying fed and sheltered, to spending time with family and friends, to exploring the great outdoors, to volunteering at a charity – there’s always multiple balls (of life) to keep in the air at any one time.
Having taken a non-traditional path to my internship (majoring in journalism and then working as a sports anchor and international charter flight attendant), I joined the Health & Social Impact team eager to contribute my life experiences. I’m finding that interning at a public relations and marketing firm is a lot like that – juggling responsibilities while learning as much as possible, turning out quality work and not letting any priorities drop.
Upon starting, I thought I’d be working exclusively on a huge philanthropic account that funds amazing partnerships around the world. Indeed, within my first week I jumped right into intense coverage reporting for a major global event, then invited local hotel concierges to a hospitality reception and built community influencer/media lists for one of our local clients.
However, many of my responsibilities are event-driven so I often have time to support other practices. Most of my colleagues work with multiple clients and I aim to adopt their ability to be nimble and better my career moving forward.
In terms of new PR skills, I’m learning new stuff almost daily. Here are some examples:
- Pitching reporters for a consumer account
- Media monitoring for a technology client event
- Collecting and formatting scientific papers for a corporate communications account website
- Writing staff biographies for new business pitches
- Building PowerPoint presentations for a public affairs client
One of the benefits to interning at Weber Shandwick is gaining exposure to its integrated approach to communications, engaging, always. Examples of how I’m getting immersed in the diverse work my company does includes:
- Competitor research for a digital entertainment account
- Drafting tweets for a wireless client
- Finding new networking and recruitment opportunities for our Intern Committee
- Event planning for a healthcare account
- Volunteering to help with planning parties (like the office photo scavenger hunt where we met Macklemore)
At the end of the day, here are my tips for keeping all those “PR balls” in the air:
- Ask clarifying questions – Get as much information as you can at the beginning of the process so you don’t waste time.
- Be sure of your deadlines – Knowing what is due and when is critical for prioritizing.
- Organize – From email folders and computer shortcuts to printed files.
- Become a “lister” – Embrace your inner wedding planner and create lists for everything (it’s so rewarding to check those boxes).
So while I was excited to work with the Health & Social Impact team, this internship has been an opportunity to experience all of the practice areas at Weber Shandwick Seattle. And along the way, I’ve learned how to successfully juggle multiple responsibilities…just like a PR pro!
Lorraine Henry is an intern with the Health & Social Impact team in the Weber Shandwick Seattle office.
Title image courtesy of Ed Schipul.