CPR Online

Chronicles of a PR Assistant

By Stephanie Smith, Public Relations Assistant

As a Communication major with a concentration in Public Relations, it is difficult to grasp the true essence of PR without being in that type of environment. Of course I learn tasks such as writing press releases and pitches in the classroom, but that is hardly going to prepare me for a real job as a PR practitioner. This is why it is a requirement for all Communication majors at William Paterson University to do at least one internship, so we can get genuine working experience.

When I was offered an internship position here at CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, I was a bit nervous. I only had one internship prior to this one and unfortunately did not learn much there, so I felt a bit unprepared. Not to mention, CPR specializes in healthcare, which is a subject I know nothing about, so that was a bit unnerving. However, when I went for my intern training I felt confident that I would be able to fulfill the tasks efficiently with a bit of help.

One thing I am extremely grateful I learned while here was how to make a media list. I was unfamiliar with the program, Cisionpoint, prior to this internship. I know it is a program many companies use to make media lists, so I am happy I have familiarized myself with it. Also, writing pitches was not something I did often in my classes. I have now had a lot of practice writing and sending out pitches, as pitches are constant. Some more of my tasks have included doing simple company research and follow up phone calls for pitches, which brings me to my next point.

I do not enjoy making phone calls and talking on the phone. Let’s face it. In this day and age, texting is the predominant form of communication, so I generally don’t talk on the phone often. Even my parents text me more than they call me! However, obviously in the PR world one cannot text a story idea. Even though I still don’t like talking on the phone I am a bit more comfortable with it now because I had to do it so frequently as an intern. It is not as bad as I thought…but I still rather text if I had the choice.

As my time as an intern is coming to an end I find myself wondering, “Where am I going to go from here?” I am graduating from college in May and finding a job right out of college is not easy. I have no idea what kind of entry level job I will get or where I will end up. But I am thankful for all the things I have learned at CPR Strategic Marketing Communications. I am also grateful for the entire staff, who were a great help to me as I transitioned into working here. This was not the kind of internship where all I did was run out and get coffee for the boss. I was treated like a real employee. I finally feel prepared as I plan to apply the skills I have learned to any job I retain in the future.

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