Posts tagged interns

3 Things I Learned At a Pitch the Media Event

By: Jordyn Miller 

Recently, the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island (PRPLI) held its annual Meet and Pitch the Media event at the Hilton in Melville. This evening gives public relations professionals the opportunity to not only meet local Long Island media, but to also pitch their stories in person and receive constructive feedback on the spot. As an intern, pitching in person for the first time was extremely nerve-wracking, but Meet and Pitch the Media night was an incredible learning experience. Here are three things I learned just at this one event.

  1. Have confidence in your pitch!

While I was sitting at my table anticipating giving the pitch, I was anxious. I wondered what my criticisms would be, and the fact that I was the youngest professional there did not help. However, once I decided to stand up and volunteer myself for my pitch, I decided to not let my nerves overshadow my delivery. I confidently read the pitch, made eye contact with the panel, and finished the pitch in my allotted amount of time. The panel was extremely receptive, and they only had helpful comments about the pitch. They told me what they liked and what they would tweak, but at no point did I feel like my pitch was not good enough. Confidence really does make a difference.

  1. Don’t wait for someone to introduce you—do it yourself!

After the dinner concluded, all of the professionals in the room had the opportunity to speak to the media. My coworker who attended the event with me encouraged me to introduce myself to the media professionals and follow up on my pitch. It is important to remember to try to find something unique or something you have in common to begin the conversation. This helps sway the awkwardness while also making yourself memorable in their minds. Confidence is definitely applicable in this case as well.

  1. Take advantage of these opportunities!

Throughout my time at Zimmerman/Edelson, I have had multiple opportunities to meet media and network with other professionals. All of these events have made me eager to start my career in public relations, as well as reassured me that I will have a successful future. This PRPLI Meet and Pitch the Media event just reinforced the importance of these opportunities for me, and reminded me to never stop asking to tag along to events or gain any possible experience that I can.

prpli

The PRPLI panel at the Meet and Pitch the Media event

The Importance of Confidence in Public Relations

By: Jordyn Miller 

My second PRSSA networking dinner was a much less stressful event than the first.

My second PRSSA networking dinner was a much less stressful event than the first.

When I walked into my first ever networking dinner, I was completely overwhelmed. As any student would, I looked around at all of the professionals in the room and thought to myself “What am I doing here?” I was only a sophomore, barely knowledgeable from my one public relations class, and I could not imagine myself speaking to the professionals while all of these older and more experienced students would be sitting right beside me. Thankfully, one of my senior friends came up to me (I looked incredibly nervous) and he told me to just be confident. He said confidence is what stands out the most to anyone when you are speaking.

During the dinner, I slowly became more comfortable. I began to ask questions to the professionals sitting at my table, and the more questions I asked, the more confident I seemed. I soon realized that confidence can be created, and this is an important skill to have in any communications field. While I was still very nervous, I forced myself to speak and ask these questions to prove to the professionals I was speaking to that I am capable of confidently speaking to those I do not know.

This skill also came into play while I was interviewing for internships. Rather than timidly introducing myself to the interviewer and showing that I was nervous, I chose to confidently smile, shake the hand of the interview and introduce myself. This initial confidence will leave a wonderful impression of you on the interviewer, as they will be pleasantly surprised to see how prepared you are for the interview.

On my first day at Zimmerman/Edelson, I adopted this same concept. I walked into the office, and rather than show how overly nervous I was, I tried to introduce myself to everyone. I made myself known by speaking at the first staff meeting, participating in office conversations. I am not sure my Zimmtern experience would have been the same had I acted differently on my first day.

This confidence mentality has helped me when answering phones, sending my drafts to coworkers for the first time, meeting clients at events and just feeling like a part of the Zimmerman/Edelson team. I am confident that this will continue to benefit me throughout my public relations career.

5 Things You Can’t Learn in the Classroom

By Jess McNamara

 

1) How to interact with clients and media
This is an extremely important skill that you just can’t ever fully learn in a classroom. Interacting with clients and the media are the most basic components of a PR job, but they also can be the most intimidating. It’s likely that on day one of your first job or internship, you will have to talk to some sort of client or reporter, so it is something you need to get the hang of right away. Only first-hand experience can teach you how to appropriately talk to industry colleagues and develop a professional relationship. Even with the advice given in the classroom, you don’t really learn until you are on a phone call with a reporter who is on deadline and needs information in succinct soundbites.

 

2) Speak up and volunteer
Many college students will tell you volunteering in the classroom is a foreign concept to them. But new job requires active participation, especially while interning. It is vital that you speak up and volunteer at a job: ask questions when you have them and offer to do work that needs to be done even if not specifically assigned to you. In the real world there’s no participation grade, and volunteering shows leadership, work ethic and commitment. The more effort you put into your internship, the more you will be able to learn things that you can’t learn in class from your coworkers in the working world.

 

3) How to use a phone
Sounds simple right? It’s not. I’m not talking about cell phones; I I’m talking about land-line office phones, and if you are tackling your first real office job then this is definitely something you are thrown into on day one. Office phones are scary, they’re tricky, they ring a lot and they have more buttons than you can remember on day one. Mastering the office phone system is probably one of the most difficult things to learn, but you pick it up after a while. Personally, I am about two months into my Zimmerman/Edelson internship, and I still have a cheat sheet on my desk to remind me which buttons to press in each scenario.

 

4) It’s okay to make mistakes
Everyone will tell you this, but it takes actually making the mistakes to realize how true it is. In school, a mistake typically results in a bad grade, a direct consequence of whatever you did wrong. But in the real world people make mistakes and, believe it or not, other people tend to be understanding. You will make mistakes that you didn’t even know were mistakes, and you will make mistakes that instantaneously feel like the end of the world. As long as you own your mistake and do what you can to rectify the situation your coworkers will be understanding. After all, when you begin a new job you are still learning, just through real-world experience instead of through a text book.

 

5) The importance of listening
You will not understand how important listening is until you step out of the classroom and into a real job. Most students get into the habit of passively listening, scrolling through their phone, surfing the web or completing other work. But in a work environment, especially as an intern or junior staff member, listening is key. When you’re being assigned a task, you need to be paying attention to the details and noting all of the specific instructions. Although it is okay to go back and ask questions, it is far more impressive if you show initiative and that you can follow directions on your first attempt at the task. In the classroom the teacher is often there to help you. But as an intern, your goal is to help your coworkers, so try to make their day easier just by fully listening to the instructions you are given.

#ZimmChat 2015

ZE_042915-35 ZE_042915-83 ZE_042915-102