What is the most valuable skill PR firms look for in an intern?
I'm looking for internships right now, in your experience what is the most valuable skill an intern should have at your public relations firm?
#PR #publicrelations #internships
I was previously a PR internship manager, so I was behind the scenes choosing candidates based on resumes and interviews.There are so many skills to bring to the table, and luckily a lot of them have to do with your attitude and not necessarily your experience.
Like any internship, the hiring managers would like someone on the team who is excited to be there and will bring energy and effort to the role
- Outgoing Personality
In public relations, you’ll be speaking with clients (potential & existing), journalists, influencers, the public, etc. Interns shouldn’t be afraid to strike up conversations and feel at ease speaking with new people
There is a lot of writing involved in PR -- from social media posts to press releases and everything in between. An intern with strong writing skills will help the team significantly, as there will be less editing required.
- Desire to Learn
The PR industry is always changing, and there is something new to know about social media platforms and various trends on an almost daily basis. Interns should demonstrate how they not only want to learn about new developments in the field, but the ins and outs as well. An intern that may not have much experience but expresses a deep desire to become an expert in the field will stand out.
- Social Media
A very important part of public relations is managing clients social media presence. You should be able to excel on almost all platforms, create engaging content, and brainstorm campaigns that will benefit clients
The students I’ve interviewed that possesed all these traits were almost always hired. If you’re able to bring these to the table in your next internship application, I think you will be in good shape! Best of luck in your internship search.
Erin recommends the following next steps:
I think the most important skills you can have is unending enthusiasm for the profession and the willingness to learn. Those two qualities are key to my hiring an intern. I also appreciate basic writing skills, someone who is a news junkie and a media hound. If you don't follow online media, the news or social influencers, how can you succeed in the PR profession?!
Maryse recommends the following next steps:
I have an in house Communications and PR team and we also manage agencies. We look for candidates who first and foremost write well. Great writers stand out, always! Also, candidates who do their research, are proactive and took the time to understand the employer and their mission well will always stand out.
I also personally look for individuals who demonstrate grit, resilience and hunger for learning.
Finally, digital skills will always set you apart. Understanding SEO/ SEM and the basics of content strategy will make you so much better at communications and your ability to reach your audiences. You may want to look at some agencies that specialize in digital storytelling. Look at Animalz, Whiteboard.is and similar. They are building the next generation of leaders in public relations and communications.
Wishing you great success!