Wow. Has this girl got an impressive PR internship CV or what?
Emma Bedson, 20, currently studying a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) at RMIT, graduating in October this year.
Top boss at a consumer PR agency. Or perhaps Founder/Director of my own PR agency. The possibilities are endless…
You’ve had a busy interning life over the past year, tell us about your internships
Two Birds Talking
My first internship was at Two Birds Talking. I was the typical PR intern -running coffees, media kit packing, phone handling, booking and receiving couriers, editorial monitoring, database updates and so on. I assisted on a couple of events for Kookai and Nike. Whilst I liaised between their Melbourne and Sydney office during this internship, I had a chance to work at Two Birds Talking’s Sydney office as a fill-in PR co-ordinator. I hit the ground running at that time working directly on Kookai and Lovisa. If there is anything that I got from Two Birds Talking, it was MEDIA IS KING.
One Green Bean
Throughout the first half of 2012, I confirmed an internship with One Green Bean. I saved up for six months to pay for accommodation, flights and living expenses to intern full time with One Green Bean. During this time I prepared press kits and coverage reports, assisted with the production of events and performed admin and ad hoc office duties. I worked on a number of clients such as IKEA, Dunlop Volleys, Virgin Mobile and CBA. One Green Bean definitely showed me the difference between Melbourne and Sydney based PR.
I interned with Undertow Media briefly before going to Sydney last year. On my return, I came back as a contractor to assist their account co-ordinator on Mt Hotham, Kathmandu, Tupperware and Domaine Chandon. It was at Undertow Media where I learnt what the role of a junior PR professional is really like. I pitched to media on a daily basis, refined my writing skills, contributed to campaigns, proposals, brainstorms and meetings. I was also responsible for account administration & reporting, which inspired me to write my third year undergraduate thesis on PR measurement and evaluation.
This has been my most recently internship. Having vast industry experience prior to Mango, the team delegated tasks to me not usually given to interns. I worked across a number consumer accounts creating, pitching and following up media materials. I secured multiple pieces of coverage both in print and online. I spent an extra week at Mango working with their social media team to create content and see how social media runs within a PR agency.
What was it about working at a Sydney based PR company that attracted you?
I researched a lot of agencies in line with the area of PR I’m interested in. Most of them are based in Sydney so I emailed a couple of dream agencies for an internship placement. I have previously lived in Sydney and have friends who live up there so making the temporary move up there was more exciting and thrilling than daunting. I loved the entire experience and would do it again in a heartbeat. Moving up to Sydney permanently after I graduate is high on my to-do list.
How did you juggle university course work and paid work while interning?
It’s challenging but it can be done. I wrote a lot of to-do lists and time management was crucial. I will admit there were more than a few all-nighters to get the assignments done but I managed to juggle it all. In fact, I actually prefer the adrenaline rush. It makes you more accountable to your tasks and there is no room procrastination.
What was your most valuable internship experience so far and why?
My time at Undertow Media was the most valuable experience, especially when I was contracted to assist one of their juniors.
I immediately felt part of the team the minute I stepped into the office. I gained a strong sense of responsibility and accountability for everything that was thrown at me. My time management skills were definitely tested (a crucial skill to master so I advise to get on top of it ASAP). Nonetheless, I completed tasks with a passion because I wanted to prove to myself and my colleagues I could handle agency life.
Undertow Media taught me so much about the industry and how to operate in PR. I recommend Undertow Media to anyone interested in a PR internship, I would safely say they have one of the best internship programs around.
Tell us about your favourite client pitch you got to work on and what you learnt from it
McDonald’s has been one of my favourite accounts to work on. I really got to own a project where I wrote media material, pitched to journalists and secured multiple pieces of coverage. I was able to learn how to develop relationships with journalists (a true love-hate relationship) and refine my writing skills. It was so rewarding seeing coverage and knowing you had some input in making that happen.
What’s next for you?
I don’t have any internships confirmed for the near future but you never know what’s around the corner. Right now I’m focusing on completing my thesis and graduating but I’m sure I’ll slip in a few more placements before graduating.
Emma shares her advice for other aspiring PR pros;
There have been so many quotes to get me through my interning ‘journey’. My mum told me this quote just before cold calling an agency and it has resonated with me ever since:
“Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and I promise you something great will come of it.” - We Bought A Zoo
For anything you want to achieve, it’s always going to be ‘no’ until you ask. No matter how whimsical your ambitions may be, throw yourself into the deep end and you never know what may come out of it.
With a Bachelor of Professional Communication (Journalism) from RMIT, she emphasises the need to gain a wide variety of experiences before graduating and stresses the importance of maintaining relationships even after you finish your internship. She speaks with My Interning Life below:
What are the key skills that students should seek to develop before graduating, that will make them hireable in the media upon graduation?
Intern at as many places as you can (at least 2 a year – and try and keep some ongoing)
Vary the types of companies you work with- that way you can be sure to find out what you like, and what you don’t like!
Keep in touch with all the places you intern at…keep a diary with the names, emails and numbers of News Directors…and spam them with your work until they give you a shot.
Did you intern before getting into the industry? If so where?
Some of my internships that come to mind…A week with Channel Nine in Adelaide (this one week made me sure I wanted to work in TV news)
At the other end of the spectrum, a six week internship with a PR Agency that made me want to stab myself in the eyeball.
What do you think makes a good intern and an asset to the workplace?
Someone who is helpful, open minded, shows initiative, and is not a pushy know-it-all.
What are key characteristics that are necessary for a career in the media?
The ability to believe in yourself and keep going when you get knocked down time and time again…because you will.
What would be your advice to yourself when you were starting out knowing now what the industry involves?
For anyone interested in media, be prepared and open-minded about moving regional….it’s a great way to get a start, and a terrific place to make all the mistakes you definitely will.
You can follow Claire Wheaton on Twitter.
Jack Lucas 22, is an aspiring PR professional who has recently moved from regional Queensland to Melbourne to pursue his dream job of working in the sports industry. Jack is currently on the job hunt and MIL wishes him all the best in his job search.
My Interning Life by Jack Lucas
I’m Jack Lucas, and I graduated from Griffith University on the Gold Coast with a Bachelor of Communications in 2012. During my final year I undertook an internship with the iSelect Gold Coast Titans (NRL) in second semester. It certainly made my last semester a busy one but very rewarding at the same time.
We had a choice of where to do a Public Relations internship through a list Griffith provided or source our own independently, at the time I didn’t even know if their would be a PR related position at the Titans or if they took on any interns at all so I shot through a quick email to Titans reception and was put in touch with Organisational Development Manager Paul Crane.
I had an interview with Paul and Media Manager Adam Gardini who I’d be working with during my internship. The interview was a pretty casual meeting and it certainly helped that I’m a mad rugby league fan, it’s important to put across your personality alongside your knowledge and skills, I put myself out there and was given the spot over another applicant because both Paul and Adam thought I’d be able to establish a better back and forth rapport with the players than him.
I went in to Titans HQ two or three days a week during my internship and my duties were whatever Adam needed me to do. His phone is ringing non stop so there was a fair bit to do however we quickly established a weekly routine of core jobs to be done by me. They included inviting media to team announcement press conferences, releasing team lists online through the official website and social media channels, media releases and media calls for “captains runs” and promotional events, a team history story against upcoming opponents and any story you could put together from quotes after press conferences, I’ve put a couple of links at the bottom for examples. Basically everything I had previously studied in PR was put into a practical situation.
In real world situations you’ll learn things you can rarely learn in a lecture hall. We had a few dramas to deal with including player’s behavior, a CEO changeover, media reporting financial difficulties and inaugural recruit and captain Scotty Prince defecting to another club. I got a valuable experience in how to handle the media in situations like these, I remember a journalist giving a poor write up on a new recruit for 2013, the story painted him in a pretty poor light and rubbed the Titans the wrong way. It’s difficult because on the Gold Coast we were competing with two other major sporting codes in the A-League and the AFL so you want as much coverage as possible but obviously you want positive coverage. So we still invited the particular journalist to the next media call but restricted photo opportunities for the publication, it was a little trick I’ll definitely remember in future employment.
I was pretty lucky in my internship, I basically got a taste of my dream job in the industry I want to further my career in. If I was to give any advice to first time interns, it would be don’t be afraid to ask for an opportunity, the worst someone can tell you is no. I’ve recently relocated to Melbourne to find full time employment in the sports field and have found the going tough but it hasn’t deterred me from approaching businesses and organisations, if you’re afraid or embarrassed of rejection, you’ll really limit your opportunities. The pay off is definitely worth it to see your name next on a published piece.
Founder and Managing Director of Dig & Fish.
A leader of best practice marketing and communications programs for the food, drinks and leisure industries for more than a decade, Angie currently chairs Wine Communicators of Australia, and is a member of the Victorian Food and Wine Tourism Council and Starlight Children’s Foundation Advisory Board.
With a reputation as a straight forward, direct and pragmatic strategist who always pushes for the better answer or solution, Angie is the brains-trust for Dig&Fish, instilling best-practice operations and leadership across the entire way we do business.
Angie’s TOP 5 TIPS for Interns:
1. Take the initiative – the best interns make themselves indispensable by getting involved, asking good questions and becoming important members of the team. Be positive and get involved, it really helps.
2. Can do – just say yes and get stuff done, again the more value you add and the better experience you are going to have.
3. Ask – it’s not always easy to know what interns want to get from the experience so ask to get involved, ask for help and ask for information and learning. If you do points one and two then companies will be much more likely to provide education and knowledge opportunities
4. Add value – in media and comms if you’re asked to do the media monitoring then read with a purpose and add value to media lists, update contact details and identify opps that might be relevant for the employer and / or their clients. If you think things can be done better or differently, speak up.
5. Be organised – communicate your timetable and exam commitments well in advance – don’t make yourself really useful and then not be there when you’re needed or change plans last minute.
You can tweet Angie at @digandfish if you have any questions.
Matthew Johnson is one of the students I met at the My Interning Life event in April. He impressed me with his enthusiasm and his recent experience at the Australian Open in January this year.
Find out what Matthew did at the AO13 and how you too can have a similar experience when applications open for the 2014 Australian Open.
19, Bachelor of Arts (intended majors in journalism and photography) at Monash University expecting to graduate in late 2015.
What is your dream job?
Ideally, my eventual dream job would be to become a reporter/photographer, either freelance or working directly with a media organisation, travelling alongside the tennis tour. I’ve had a love of tennis since the age of 10, and since I don’t have the skills on court to match it with the world’s best, documenting what the professionals do is the next best thing. I know it will require a lot of hard work, and , most likely, a number of years experience reporting here in Australia, honing my skills before I can try to take the step up to my ideal job.
Tell us about your role at the Australian Open in 2013
My experience at AO2013 was mainly as a photographer/photo editor. However, I worked closely with others working in related areas (ie. journalism, PR etc.) that I have a good understanding of most of the roles relating to media/PR etc.
My role was not only during the Australian Open period (three weeks), but also for three weeks in December during the December Showdown tournament (also three weeks). The December Showdown was a much more hands-on experience, with us photographers being in charge for not only taking our photos, but also editing them, and then uploading them to Tennis Australia’s flickr account. Events to be shot included matches, portrait sessions, PR opportunities and award ceremonies.
Describe your experience interning at the Australian Open
The Australian Open itself was a very intensive and eye-opening period. Having never worked in a media environment for longer than a week previously, it was initially a very daunting prospect. However, the environment that’s created in the media hub is incredibly motivating, and really pushes you to have an exceptional work ethic. By the end of the tournament, I was downright shocked with what I had achieved, and really reaffirmed to me that a job in the media industry, in some capacity, is what I endeavour to achieve.
The people who you work with are incredibly helpful. The amount of experience that many of my colleagues had was incredible, and I learnt a lot from some of the stories that they told. The skills that they help foster in you to perform the job to the best of your ability has really helped me in other aspects of my journalism and photographic pursuits since.
What was the most memorable experiences from the 2013 Australian Open?
The amount of amazing things you see behind the scenes is unbelievable. As where I worked was right across the corridor from one of the entrances to Rod Laver Arena, there would normally be a flurry of seasoned professionals walking past, including: Andy Murray, Jelena Jankovic, Victoria Azarenka. But I remember most vividly a time after Roger Federer finished a practice session, where he turned immediately from tennis professional to doting father. His two twins would run up and down the hallways, and he would start running after them. It’s something you don’t really expect from what you see on the TV.
I was lucky enough to take photos at a press opportunity at one of the marquees in Melbourne Park, where a number of veteran players would be gathering in an informal setting, chatting away to the media. I was lucky enough to meet the two Martinas (Hingis and Navratilova), Lindsay Davenport, Mark Woodforde, Guy Forget, among others.
Lastly, working during both the men’s and women’s finals was an incredible experience. The demand for photos to be uploaded and available online during the match was immense, and the experiences I had leading up to both finals helped me to cope with the fast-paced process. Plus, getting a photo with my idol from my early days playing tennis – Novak Djokovic – before he jetted off for Davis Cup duties was an added bonus.
From hearing fellow colleagues’ thoughts of AO2013, I can assure you that similar experiences are common, and such memories may come your way if you secure a role at AO2014.
What’s next for you – do you have another internship lined up?
I’m currently in between internships after having interned with the Herald Sun in their sports department during March (for a couple of days per week). Once exams for my university studies conclude, I will be ferociously trying to search out for the next industry placement I can potentially be a part of.
I also run a website called The Substitute, which I started back in June 2012. It’s currently in the process of being merged into The SportingJournal, where I’ll be working as part of their editorial team. So in the meantime, that will give me an outlet to continue being published in the online world, as well as honing my editing skills.
Matt shares his advice
Be persistent would be my main piece of advice. After sending in my application in June last year, it was a number of months before the job interview took place (a lot of applications are processed across all areas). In the meantime, I made sure that I would follow up with Tennis Australia’s HR department every few weeks to ensure that my application was still being processed. I did this to ensure that I would remain relevant to those who would be looking at my application, and reaffirm to them my interest in the job they were advertising.
Also, don’t underestimate what you can do during your time interning in the industry. I was completely blown away by the work ethic that I embodied during my time working at the Australian Open, and I put this down to not only being incredibly passionate about the role, but also the environment that those around me helped facilitate. Don’t ever doubt what you can achieve because more often than not you will definitely surprise yourself with what you can do.
And lastly, ensure you leave a lasting impression once your internship/experience comes to a close. Ensure to gain contacts, not only with your superiors, but (if relevant) others who were in the same position as you during your time working at the organisation. Professional contacts can help you to secure jobs in the future if you have a good rapport with them, and can act as mentors beyond your time at their organisation. Non-professional contacts can also be equally as useful, as you never know what they/you may achieve in the future.
Applications to apply at the Australian Open in 2014
Matt says, “One of the best things about working at AO is the near-guarantee that, if you’re still interested, you can return to work there in future years. As long as you’ve left a good impression on those who you worked with, it is pretty much certain that you can return to the same environment year after year.”
There are many roles in media/PR available, including: radio reporting, online content production, photography, social media, media liaisons, PR team members, etc. The full job list for the AO2014 will appear during the month of June. Keep an eye out and make sure you apply.
If you have any questions about the application process or for more advice feel free to tweet Matthew.
ARE YOU THE NEXT FLOURISH PR SUPERSTAR?
We’re on the hunt for an incredible intern.
Do you want to help our brands flourish?
Are you that extra pair of hands we need?
Are you eager and willing to get the job done, no matter how big or small?
Can you multitask like no other?
Are you all enthusiasm and no ego?
Are you keen to learn?
Then we want to hear from you!
The application process is simple…pitch yourself to us in any way, shape or form. You can reach us at email@example.com for any questions. Applications close Friday 10th May.
- 3 month internship
- minimum 2 days per week
- internship to take place in our lovely new office (Level 7, 5 Queens Road Melbourne)
More details on their FB page.