When I began with my first internship about 8 years ago, I was just giving PR a shot. I wasn’t really sure I knew what it was or if I would like it. It was my first time in the workforce other than my high school/college jobs at a coffee shop and a restaurant, so I was open to anything and everything. I started knowing that I needed to give public relations a try, but also that I would start my second semester in London when I would have an internship in advertising, so I was all about weighing my options right from the start.
Lucky for me, it turned out I loved PR. I loved working with editors and helping them write stories. I loved working with clients and showing off my creativity in the smallest of pitches and the largest of campaigns. What I wasn’t sure I loved was the causes I was working for.
Many interns may be feeling the same way. They start an internship saying “this is just my stepping stone to what I really want,” and I think that is OK. As long as you’re remaining open, you can work hard for something you know isn’t quite exactly what you want in the long run.
So how do you finally make that switch to the PR you really want to do?
Get as much experience as you can - You first have to make sure you are taking as many opportunities in your current job as you can. During my internships and entry level jobs, I used to volunteer every. single. time. another team needed help. Whether it was putting together gift bags or staffing an event for a client that wasn’t mine. You want to be able to say you’ve had some part in almost every facet of PR with every type of media and client
Put a toe in the water first – Adrianna and I hear from wanna-be fashion publicists all the time. We think it’s fabulous that so many women want to join our career path, but to be honest, we had both written off entertainment and fashion PR a long time ago. While working with consumer brands we had the pleasure of working with some amazing fashion designers and celebrities. We got a peek into the world of their publicists, and decided it was not for us. Instead, I chose to go after the-still-glamorous-but-arguably-calmer beauty category, and Adrianna works in the still-exciting-and-fun hospitality realm. It’s always best to test out the water before jumping in, especially in your career
Make contacts - Keep friendships with those you work with and vendors and clients you are connected to. I still speak with women from my first internship on occasion, who now work for big beauty brands. If I ever decided to make a move, I know I have a great network who will support me. No need to stalk, just keep in contact as best you can and always be friendly