Internships are the perfect time to take everything that we have learned in the classroom and apply it in the real world. The Public Relations program at Mount Royal University affords us with the opportunity to embark on two internships to complete our degree. My second internship at Brookline PR is coming to an end and I have taken the time to reflect on my accomplishments over the past four months. It has also given me time to think about the lessons that I have learned during my internship that I would never have learned in the classroom.
Here are my top five lessons that I have learned at Brookline:
- School has taught me to make a story newsworthy; my internship has taught me that just because your story may be timely and relevant, reporters may still not pick it up. This could be because there was a more newsworthy story, or perhaps your story might not have the angle that they are looking for; which leads me to my next lesson.
- Reporters cover different news stories. When building a media list, you have to ensure that you include the proper media contacts. In my media relations class, we briefly touched on media contacts, which in my opinion should be expanded upon and be taught that every reporter covers different beats.
- In school we learn about the importance of the media, but we really have no idea the impact that it can make on clients. Reporters are the gatekeepers to stories; without them, PR would not exist. It is important to build and maintain these relationships with reports to assist in gaining coverage for clients.
- I have learned the important of scanning the news on a daily basis. Being in PR you need to be on top of the current news and trends going on within your own city, province, country and globally. Additionally, you need to keep an eye out for client mentions – whether it is positive and negative, you want to be able to react accordingly in a timely manner.
- And finally, I have learned that no matter your position in the office, everyone plays an important role. As the overused cliché goes, “there is no I in team” and I have learned that everyone plays an integral role in the completion of projects. At Brookline, no project is too big or too small to be completed in a fresh, solid, creative and professional manner.
I cannot stress the value that internships provide to students. I have learned countless lessons that the classroom has not taught me. The classroom sets a foundation for learning, which is built upon through the hands-on experience of internships.
-Caitlan Greene is an intern at Brookline Public Relations and is in her fourth year of public relations at Mount Royal University. Her previous agency experience enabled her to develop communication skills working with clients in a variety of industries.