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Insider Story: PR and Communications Internships – PART TWO – COMPLETING THE INTERNSHIP

Insider Story: PR and Communications Internships – PART TWO – COMPLETING THE INTERNSHIP

I GOT THE INTERNSHIP! I was so excited, after months of looking and waiting for ’call backs’ and replies, dealing with disappointment and difficult employers, I had found an internship. The business was a digital brand agency, named Branched, based in St. Kilda. Branched represented several brands of fashion accessories that were from overseas. They dealt with the brands’ social media, online stores, stockists in Australia and worked to gain media exposure for the products and brands.   I went into Branched for a trial, I was so nervous. What if I didn’t pass the trial? What if I wasn’t good enough to get the internship? How embarrassing if I’m not good enough to be an intern?! These were the thoughts running through my head, the morning of the trial.   After meeting everyone in the office I had a meeting with the marketing manager, Tam, she was organising the internship programmes. I was assigned the task of re-doing their entire media contact list, verifying all contacts and eventually I would be creating look books, press and media releases and then distributing them in an effort to gain some media coverage for the brands.   WOW, I was nervous, I had never done most of these things in a real-life situation before. Uni really prepares you for the theory of communication and provides you with opportunity to trial some hands-on exercises through certain assignments, however the most part was theory. I was officially nervous.   I sat down at my desk, and started to work. I wasn’t given too many strict instructions, Branched was happy for me to just start working and ask questions as I needed to. I decided that I needed to stop worrying about what everyone was going to think and just do the best I could. I began dividing the media list into more sections, I am a pretty organised, perfectionist so I thought I would make it cleaner and easier to use. To my surprise, later that day when Tam and one of the owners of Branched checked on me, they were thrilled with what I was doing. My first day had been a success.   With more self-confidence about my position as the intern, the next three months of my internship were fantastic. The people in the office were all great and I was able to develop personal relationships with them all (as it was a small office). There were other interns at the same time as me, however I never really worked with them as we were all assigned different days of the week. I found that not working with other interns was actually a positive as it meant I could form my own personal relationship with the other employees of Branched by myself.   I learnt that being an intern in such a positive workplace meant that I was able to ask questions freely if I needed to and eventually offer my own suggestions and ideas regarding work. Everyone at Branched was happy for me to try out my ideas and execute the tasks assigned to me, my way. This provided a learning experience and an opportunity to really mature and grow as a professional.     My task of creating, sourcing and verifying the marketing contact list was complete (after several weeks). It was time to start the press releases… I was TERRIFIED! I had never had to write a press or media release for a real-life business to be sent off to actual journalists and publications before. A few days before, I began looking through all my notes and past lectures from University, trying to find as many points, templates and drafts of press releases I had done. I went over them (and over them) to ensure I knew what I was doing and I could provide them with a high quality piece of work that would hopefully get some results for the business.   I did everything I could to ensure my work was at a professional level, I took my time editing it and re-editing, aligning the logo into the perfect position, changing the title of the piece a few times (probably around five times) and completely over-doing the spellcheck! I was finally happy with it, so it was time to start sending it off and see how well it could do. I had created the look-book so everything was ready to go.   At the time, it was the middle of winter and all of the brands and accessories I was trying to market were really more summer items. I decided that I wasn’t going to be able to gain much coverage in this situation, so I decided to speak to my boss about a few of my ideas. My ideas included contacting travel and holiday publications as the products fit with their market and content.   The other employees loved the idea and allowed me to try it out. It was a success!! I was over the moon that an Australian travel magazine contacted me to tell me they were going to include the products in their upcoming issue. Branched was thrilled that were able to gain some more exposure for the certain brand.   I ended up staying at Branched longer than my required ‘Internship’ 3-month period as I was enjoying the experience whilst studying and the business was happy to keep me on. Since I have left, I have always valued my time there and the relationships I was able to form. I use the owner of the business as a reference on my CV, which is always a positive, especially when you are recent graduate.   I can’t promote internships enough to anyone studying, no matter what course you are completing. The real-world skills I was able to learn during my internship were invaluable to me as a budding communications professional.   If you have any questions regarding internships, or any questions based off my experience as a communications intern contact [email protected]

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