Monday, April 18, 2011

From Intern to the New Internship Coordinator – My Advice for Applicants

It seems like many moons ago that I came to L.C. Williams & Associates as an eager intern – and now, five years later, I’m honored to serve as the agency’s internship coordinator.

We have a great internship program at LCWA; in fact, like me, many who started out as interns are now integral members of the team. Although much has changed in the PR industry during the time I have transitioned from intern to internship coordinator, at least one thing remains the same: there are a lot of details to keep in mind when applying for a new position! Below are some tips for those of you who are trying to get your foot in the door with an internship at a PR agency:

  • Pay attention to details! An eye for details is vital for public relations practitioners, and you’ll definitely catch people’s attention – in a bad way – if there are grammatical, spelling or formatting errors in your resume or cover letter. Ask a trusted friend or advisor to double-check your information before you send.

  • Play up your relevant experience. Writing and pitching are two crucial aspects to any agency internship, so we want to hear about what you’ve done in these areas. Focus on responsibilities that you’ve had that will be beneficial to our team.

  • Send your information to the correct place. Many agencies, including LCWA, have specific e-mail addresses or contact people for the internship program. Rather than sending your resume to the first e-mail address you see, show the initiative to find the correct contact – it is sure to impress those who are reviewing your information.

  • Be patient – and vigilant. The application process can be a long and sometimes daunting road. It is understandable to feel impatient, but use that time to take advantage of any and all opportunities you can find to become a stronger candidate. Brush up on the public relations industry and on the individual companies you are seeking out. Explore freelance writing experiences while you actively search for a full-time internship.
Securing an internship at a public relations agency is a great way to get important, relevant experience to kick off your career. Paying attention to the details throughout the process can help you put your best foot forward and is great preparation to be successful in public relations!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Global Connections

Last week, I met with some of the best and the brightest public relations pros in the world. I attended the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN) meeting in Brussels, Belgium. More than 30 agency leaders from more than 30 cities attended the meeting. We spent time looking at our network goals, reviewing global new business efforts and finding ways to work together. We have such a wonderful and collaborative group.

Here are some of the highlights of our meeting. We discussed how to:

  • Market the network and our agency services together as a global brand

  • Offer our clients a global marketing perspective in this competitive business environment

  • Bring more value to our clients by sharing costs of services as a network

  • Learn about best practices in our businesses

  • Maximize social media in our network
Our Brussels location gave us the opportunity to see how the European Parliament works. We had a private meeting and toured where the European Union (EU) is headquartered. It was so interesting to learn the history of the EU and how it impacts the business environment today. Thank you to our Brussels partners, Francine Robbens from Public Relations Partners and Stephane Desselas from Athenora Consulting, for organizing such a productive meeting.

Next, LCWA will host the PRGN fall meeting right here in Chicago. We are putting together a very thoughtful agenda with a true “Taste of Chicago” hospitality!