Here I am

To my disbelief, I am starting my third year of school at Syracuse University. I am no longer a freshman, or a sophomore, for that matter. I feel an immense amount of pressure to accomplish all of my goals before I graduate. Even though many people believe that the third time is the charm, I am having the hardest transition back to school. I spent the first two years of my college career learning about the field of public relations through an academic lens. In class, I learned terms like dominant coalition and practiced the art of writing a press releases and media alerts.

Last academic year I was determined to find an internship that would expose me to the world of public relations outside of the classroom. And to my extreme pleasure, I found one. This summer I worked full-time for Men’s Health magazine and Women’s Health magazine. When I found out I was accepted into the program, I was excited to get my hands dirty and truly experience the field of public relations. My title was Brand and Digital intern and I was working in the corporate communications department of the company. From the first day of the internship I was able to use the skills I learned in school when I was assigned press releases and media alerts.

The internship was invaluable, however, I learned skills and was exposed to parts of the public relations practice that I did not know existed. One of the highlights of my summer was experiencing media training for the Today Show. I was able to watch my supervisor prepare one of the editors for a segment on the show. The best part was actually going to the studio to watch the taping of the segment the following morning.

I learned that public relations involves so much more than press releases and media alerts. A large part of the field is forward thinking and strategizing ways for a specific brand or organization to be favorable in the media. As part of my intern duties, I had to archive every mention of Men’s Health and Women’s Health in the media. I would calculate the number of impressions and insert the info into an excel document. While this work was tedious, I knew it was important for the company’s success.

Public relations may seem like a small factor, but it is truly the driving force behind many organizations. I know the magazines I worked for would not be as successful without the public relations team. What I discovered was that public relations is more than a discipline, it is the way companies receive recognition and stay in the media.

My internship helped me realize that there are a variety of fields and specialties within public relations and made me excited to find the one that I enjoy the most. Now as I start my third year of school I have a better understanding of public relations as a practice. Every week, I am going to write a post relating my experiences to public relations, my field of study.

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3 thoughts on “Here I am

  1. hellodee

    Your experience this summer sounds like it was really great! I especially admire your work ethic and how you kept the mindset of being a part of the company’s success even though some of the work you had to do was tiresome. Also, since you’ve gained experience working at such a prominent magazine company, I’m sure you’ve truly gotten a view towards the real-world side of PR. I’ll be looking forward to the your future posts!

    Reply
  2. devonbraunstein

    Justin,

    Your summer internship sounded like an amazing experience. Your post stands out to me because I had a similar realization during my summer internship about the vast importance of a PR team to any company. While we may work behind the scenes, companies and organizations can credit a majority of their media coverage, understanding of the public, and perception to the public to the public relations practitioners. I was pleased to see that I wasn’t alone in my recognition that PR involves more than writing press releases and checking people’s names off a list at the door — it entails thinking on your toes, being proactive, and getting creative. Now, the hard part is determining which area of PR to pursue!

    Reply
  3. meganciasullo

    I can definitely see where you’re coming from when you were talking about the work you had to do at your internship. I went through the exact same experience at my internship. I was always assigned budget sheets and PowerPoint presentations. It seems that as interns, we end up getting the short end of the stick with every task we’re handed. And although we learn from the work we do, it can be so tedious and time consuming. I feel that completing those little jobs and projects brings on a feeling of accomplishment that comes along with doing the work properly as it does have an effect in the grand scheme of the company.

    Reply

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