PRSSA Kent State University
With all of the excitement surrounding the city’s resurgence, the Cavaliers’ world championship title and the Republican National Convention, I couldn’t have chosen a better time to intern in Cleveland. During the summer, I hoped to gain real experience with client work, determine which area of public relations I wanted to work in and grow more confident in my abilities. As one of four summer interns at Dix & Eaton, I have definitely accomplished these goals.
I was able to work with many of Dix & Eaton’s practice groups, including media relations, marketing communications, crisis communications and investor relations. I mostly worked with the media relations group, where some of my responsibilities included developing media lists, writing pitches and making follow-up contact with journalists. I also conducted daily media monitoring, drafted social media posts for Dix & Eaton’s accounts and completed various research projects.
The most exciting part of the internship was being involved with for the Republican National Convention. The RNC team helped tell Cleveland’s story to the media coming for the convention, securing 74 placements in national media as a result. In addition to other RNC-related client projects, The other interns and I also pitched more than 400 reporters from national publications, attended events hosted by the Atlantic and Politico and walked around East 4th St. to distribute business cards and flash drives to journalists. I was surprised to have such a hands-on role for the convention and was excited to make contact with prominent journalists.
My advice to future interns is to be open to any experience. Don’t say no to a project because even if it doesn’t seem important to you, it will help out an account executive down the road. Saying yes to every opportunity and always maintaining an optimistic attitude helped me to build a positive reputation among my colleagues. This is especially important in an agency environment, where you have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects. Because they trusted my abilities, they asked me to work on some really cool client work. My time at Dix & Eaton helped grow my portfolio, my professional network and my communication abilities. I am so grateful for everything I have learned here and feel well prepared for a career in public relations.
-- Hanna Moore, Senior Public Relations Major
by Megan Corder
I like to think I am the kind of person that can quickly adjust to situations and take actions based on my best judgment. I like to think that these skills will always serve me well in life because at the end of the day, I understand that I am responsible for my decisions and their outcomes. One of my favorite expressions is “be the solution, not the problem.” I felt that I honored this expression when I joined Fathom as the Marketing Team’s Intern.
During my time at Fathom, I learned about the digital marketing industry. I was trained in SEO, PPC Advertising, Content Integration, Google Analytics, Google Adwords, Marketo and Salesforce. Prior to my internship, I had only heard these terms in passing, and learning them professionally was invaluable.
Each day, I would work on sharing content for social media. I implemented a social media content calendar that I created. I also promoted events and shared blog posts. I applied best practices for social media, researched influences and expanded Fathom’s influence. I would help promote graphics to different websites.
Additionally, I would work on planning The 2014 Cleveland Nonprofit Marketing Summit. This summit was the highlight of my experience and really impacted me as a budding professional. I organized the event from start to end, so I would send emails to attendees, speakers, check registration and follow-up with different event details. It was an exciting and humbling experience to see the work I had done have a real impact that I could see and measure.
Over the course of my internship, I have been given more experiences, trust and support than I could have ever imagined. I was part of the team. I was able to contribute and learn from others. I did not feel like just an intern, I felt like I belonged and that the work I did mattered. I never realized how much I would like the culture of the office. They truly value trust, hard work and dedication from all their employees. It is a kind of place where you are inspired to be better and work harder, because you see everyone else doing the same. When I think about what I have accomplished this summer as an intern and what I have gained as a person, I wouldn’t have traded any moment of my experience.
by Maddy Etzel
During the summer of 2013, I had the opportunity to complete my internship at AKHIA, located in Hudson, OH. AKHIA is a full-service public relations and marketing communications agency with design, Web and strategic planning capabilities. AKHIA works with both B2B and B2C clients.
During my internship, I worked on a wide variety of projects including building media lists using CisionPoint, collecting editorial calendars for client media relations, maintaining and compiling clips for media relations outreach and email marketing campaigns, writing copy for press releases, assisting with general office duties and writing in the AKHIA intern blog post.
I was also assigned to one specific client to work closely with during the summer in order to gain a full understanding of client relations and working with a team. I was able to sit in on weekly status meetings, draft press releases for the client and I even had the opportunity to handle an entire creative project on my own. I was very excited about this project because my team put full trust in me to work with our creative department to executive from beginning to end for the client.
The information taught in JMC courses helped me tremendously at every stage during my internship. I was able to look back at previous class work I had completed to help me find direction on a project at work.
Overall, I had such a wonderful experience at AKHIA, and I’m happy to say that they’ve asked me to stay on for the fall semester. I feel like I learned so much every day and have many mentors who have taught me a lot as I continue to grow as a young professional. Everything I’ve done has felt valuable, and everyone at the agency has welcomed me with open arms. I love working somewhere where the culture is so vibrant and alive.
by Benjamin Jordan
I served as a Public Affairs intern at Stratacomm, a public relations agency in downtown Washington, D.C., during the summer of 2013. The company consists of approximately 20 employees, including two interns to help with a wide variety of tasks. Most of the clients Stratacomm serves are D.C.-related, such as the Department of Energy (the organization’s biggest client), city redevelopment campaigns and infrastructure/transportation improvements. To help brainstorm new ways to help clients, Stratacomm created three committees within the company—Transportation, Infrastructure, and Energy and Environment—and each employee would be in one of these groups. I was part of the Energy and Environment Task Force and our biweekly meetings exposed me to great ideas and ways of thinking about assisting clients.
My regular duties included compiling and distributing clips packages for clients regarding their projects. With so much news coming across my desk each morning, I felt like I was really on the pulse of the city. I also regularly created media lists with Cision so clients could easily distribute press releases across the country. The rest of my work was usually random assignments—not a big surprise at an agency. I pitched calls and developed rapport with reporters, drafted and edited content for clients’ blogs and websites, prepared materials for and helped run clients’ events, and updated various documents and spreadsheets.
My time at Stratacomm gave me a great sense of what life is like at an agency. Bits and pieces of projects are constantly being juggled, last-minute assignments frequently pop up, employees are constantly on the hunt for new business and every 15 minutes of my life were painstakingly coded and billed. Now that I’ve tried agency PR, I’d like to experience corporate or cause-related PR. I’m someone who likes to be passionate about one thing, and spreading my effort among a flurry of small projects this summer didn’t suit me. I’d advise students who are heavily involved in one extracurricular activity in school (like a fraternity or club) rather than many organizations to first try corporate or cause-related PR.
Overall, working in downtown D.C. was awesome and I only had togo on a cliché coffee run once.
by Rebecca Campbell
I had the opportunity to work at Allied-THA, an integrated marketing agency in Cleveland, during the summer of 2013. Allied’s clients consisted of major motion picture studios including Paramount, Universal, Columbia and 20th Century Fox. I worked with three other interns to assist in promoting several films such as “World War Z,” “The Way, Way Back,” “Identity Thief” and “Paranoia.” I continued to work at Allied through Fall 2013 as well.
Some of my responsibilities included brainstorming promotional ideas, conducting research in eight markets - Cleveland, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Albany, NY - and planning promotional events. These events mostly included contacting venues that would be good fits for the films and help get the word out about the film. Another responsibility was to help work advanced screenings of films and fill out a screening report, which consisted of comments from the audience, demographics and scenes the audience reacted to.
One of the key lessons I learned is to always ask “what’s in it for me?” when thinking about the client in an agency setting. Because of my JMC classes, I was able to think in this mindset, and it benefitted me when I was planning two events that I was assigned to do. Companies need a reason why they should let you into their location at no cost and talk to their customers.
My advice for future interns is take full advantage of your internship and do as much as you can because there are some things that you can’t learn in the classroom. For example, the movie studios wanted pictures from the events that myself and the other publicists worked, so they can see where and how their film is being promoted. I had to learn what type of pictures to take and how many because that’s what the client wanted.