My name is Hali and I am a Public Relations intern here at Pinnacle Advertising and Marketing Group. I am majoring in Public Relations at Florida State University (Go Noles)! I was surprised I was even hired at first because when you walk around the office you can’t help but be blinded by the overload of orange and blue that flooded people’s desks, computer backgrounds, and walls. A Seminole in Gator territory… this should be interesting I thought to myself.
Rivals or not, coming into my first “real” public relations internship, I had no idea what to expect. Is this really what I wanted to do with the rest of my life? What if what I was learning in school didn’t prepare me for this and I fall flat on my face? Well, this summer was going to be the summer to find out.
You always hear horror stories about internships and how you will be just fetching coffee, making copies, and filing for hours. I was pleasantly surprised that within my first few hours, I was given my very first project with a REAL client. Over the next few weeks, I was engaging with multiple clients and developing expertise I never thought existed including searching for media contacts and developing media lists and crafting multiple pitches and press releases. I’ve had meaningful internships before this one but none of them truly tested my public relations skills, especially in the first month. This was my first real shot at becoming aware of what it takes to be sitting in my bosses’ chairs one day.
The day that really took my nerves for a spin was when I had been tasked to make my first real pitch over the phone – to an “actual” editor at an “actual” newspaper. Yes, I Hali, was no longer able to hide behind my safety blanket, better known as my computer. I actually had to pick up a phone. This Millennial has been communicating with her thumbs all of her life. Now I had to actually speak to a stranger. What if I said the wrong thing? What if I got rejected? Thoughts raced through my mind as I dialed those digits into the phone for the unknown to answer.
Voicemail…I had gotten a voicemail. I did a tiny happy dance thinking I was off the hook. That was short lived because my supervisor told me this is all part of the game and it was necessary to keep trying every number you could find until you get a human on the other end of the phone. I tried again…10 more times to be exact until finally someone answered. That person put me in contact with someone who then transferred me to someone else, and then again to someone else’s voicemail. Although I still didn’t complete my task it taught me a very valuable lesson, “If at first you don’t succeed, try try try again!”
After that first month quickly faded away, the shallow end of my experiences only unfolded deeper and I began to see the way things really worked around here. I felt like I was part of the team and I was doing and learning more about a field that has been in my life for the last three years of college. No more floaties for me, I could finally start to swim on my own.
Stay tuned for more of “A Day in the Life of a PR Intern!”