What do you think of when you hear the word intern? Do you imagine a personal assistant running around getting coffee and laundry? Is the first word that pops into your head clumsy or inexperienced?
It is time to re-think the intern stereotypes and start looking at interns as investments for the future success for your company.
Here are some reasons to invest in educating the next generation of PR experts.
Every PR expert learned from someone. No one gets better at their job by simply “figuring it out.” You need someone to show you the ropes. Support and guidance are crucial when learning how to communicate with clients, navigating journalists, and building a network. Everyone needs a mentor to start out. By having an intern, you re-start the cycle. Give back to the PR industry by passing on the knowledge you have acquired over the years and skills someone else taught you.
Every PR professional knows how quickly things move in the industry. Rarely are you pitching holiday gift guides any less than six months in advance. Often, PR experts get swamped in work. Why not pass some of your tasks to an intern? Not only do they get to make an impact, but they truly learn. Also, you can check off extra items from your own to do list. It’s a win-win situation.
You Can Do It, Now Teach It
While learning is an important skill to have, so is teaching. By teaching a subject, you may even learn something new. Being able to re-iterate concepts in ten different ways is not only a good skill to have when teaching interns, but it also sharpens your client communication skills. To teach well you must be clear, direct and nurturing. The goal is to help everyone get on the same page.
PR professionals often have a set way of doing things. Interns will most definitely challenge that. They bring a new point of view to the table, which will help PR pros evolve and change their methodologies. A huge portion of PR is brainstorming ideas on how to better tell your client’s story. Extra brain power won’t hurt during any sort of brainstorming process.
While not every intern is going to choose a career in the PR industry, there are a few that will. When that time comes, you will be glad you taught them well. You might not know it at the time, but when you’re working hard to train your intern you may actually be training a future employee or co-worker.