by Brian Hammel '18 You know the saying “practice makes perfect”? I would be willing to place money that a PR person made that comment. In the field of public relations, practice is the only way to develop the basic skills —writing, strategic thinking, relationship building, you name it and I guarantee practice makes you sharper and more competitive. Internships are perhaps the most crucial component to a public relations education —one can only learn so much about the field by sitting in a classroom. Internships offer so much more than a plethora of portfolio materials or networking opportunities; they give a glimpse into what the professional world looks like —they are passion incubators where you can learn what you like (and, more importantly, what you don’t like). In the past year of my internship, I have learned countless lessons about the field of PR —so many, it would probably take up a decent part of your day to read them all! So, here is the abridged version of the top five things I’ve learned about PR by actually working in public relations. Prioritization and organization are your best friends When juggling different projects, deadlines and meetings, keeping an organized to-do list (or five) are key to ensuring that the job gets done and done well! Find your style of organization and own it! Company culture is crucial Before starting an internship, I had never really known what “company culture” meant. I had a rough understanding of it but until I started working, I realize it can make or break the best employees. One of the first questions I now ask in interviews is for the hiring manager to describe their company culture to me. Research and numbers can be really fun I never thought that I would ever see the words “research”, “fun” and “numbers” in the same sentence, let alone write them myself —but when you are passionate about a campaign, these findings can be a rush. What tactic brought you the highest number of views to your website? What does burnout mean and how can resiliency help with that? Research and analytics can answer these questions and help push your strategic planning to the next level. PR isn’t as glamorous as it looks on TV Although I’m sure we’d all love to be brushing elbows with celebrities on red carpets and strutting around Washington D.C. like Oliva Pope, PR is hard work! There are late nights, gift bag stuffing, sorting through thousands of lines of Excel data, toting prizes, you name it, a PR person probably has done it. Always remember your why At the end of the day, working in communications or public relations is a job —it (hopefully) puts food on the table and clothes on your back. Although it can be stressful, never forget why you do what you do —PR has the power to capture attention, affect behavior and bring about change in the world. Never forget to see the big picture in your work.