By Emily Ruiz
There is no better way to tackle the public relations industry than with experience under your belt.
In public relations, gaining real-world experience is crucial. The experience from working alongside a professional team prepares you in a way a textbook never could.
Before diving into the world of PR as an intern, I didn’t have much of a foundation. Sure, I drafted a couple of news releases and learned about the AP Stylebook, but there were many lessons a classroom setting was never going to be able to show me. I found myself benefiting from being at the center of the action in the most unexpected ways.
Here are the key lessons I learned:
- At its core, public relations is a form of storytelling. Relationship-building is one of the main objectives, but so much more happens behind the scenes. As an intern I got my first taste of media relations and communicated with journalists firsthand, building confidence along the way.
- Asking questions is critical. I wanted to learn more about everything I was coming across. In addition to knowing what I was doing, it was important to know why. Every answer to my questions led me to more insight about this field.
- Every task, no matter how big or small, ended up leading me to learn a little bit about myself. Every area I found myself working with was another opportunity to familiarize myself with PR, and more importantly, how I work as a professional.
- I was able to see beyond the result, but rather the entire process and the behind-the-scenes of how a business navigates in the real world. Getting a chance to see projects come together from start to finish is a rewarding feeling.
Gaining knowledge through practice allowed me to build confidence and motivated me to continue learning more. And for me, there is no better payoff.