PRSSA Kent State University
By Margaret Baah
This past summer, I interned at a radio station, WCRM 102.1/SKY 102.1 FM. The radio station is the only one in the Columbus area serving the immigrant community. I honestly did not know what to expect because this was my first internship. The radio station, at the start of my internship, was in the process of organizing its official launch.
My key responsibilities were to handle all communication elements pertaining to the launch of the event as well as its annual back to school event. I worked under a supervisor whose role was to ensure my work corresponded with the goal of the radio station for both events. My daily responsibility was working with city officials invited to the events as well as employees to get the needed information in terms of communication. I also worked on keeping the social media accounts of the station active. I conducted a social media analysis report to help build the social media presence and improve on its presence in the accounts they had enough presence.
The internship was a learning experience for me. I was able to put to work the skills I learned from my various JMC classes such as Case Studies, PR Publications and PR Tactics. Reporting was useful during my internship. I saw the need for the class when it came to my writing skills. Event planning has been an aspect of PR I have always been on the fence about. However, being in the middle of it was fun and exciting. Even though it has its ups and downs, getting to see your efforts come together is encouraging and a personal success.
My advice will be to put yourself out there. Regardless of the field of PR you find yourself in, make the best out of it. Be ready to learn and be corrected. Some people have been there and can show you the tricks of getting things done effectively.
By Jill Golden
My internship experience at Eaton Corporation has been very positive. Not only have I gained beneficial experience related to public relations, but I have also learned general knowledge about how world-wide corporations function, the many different roles and positions that exist in these companies (there’s a lot) and how professionals function and work together in the workplace. It’s been fascinating to see how everything happens behind the scenes. I think what I am loving most about my internship is that I am included in everything. I am invited to important meetings with our senior leadership officers, I’m writing documents and posts that important people in the company read and use and I’m designing shirts, signs, menus, etc. that our CEO sees and wears. I feel that I am truly being included in the work here and not just being given the “easy stuff” because I am an intern.
My responsibilities include helping plan events, acting as a contact for other employees with questions about things my department is doing, doing fun design work, writing memos and letters regarding the donations we give and many other things. The event planning is probably my favorite part of my internship so far. What’s exciting about it is the events we put together are for hundreds of people, at multiple locations and ones that our CEO attends, so it’s important that they are organized and planned accordingly. It’s been fun to be included and be given such important roles when planning. I’ve learned a lot of small event planning tips too that will be helpful in the future. I also am the one to post on our internal social media channel, Yammer. It’s been interesting to see what posts do well and which ones don’t get as much attention. I definitely have learned a lot that I will carry with me throughout my public relations career.
Advice I would give to other student interns is to take advantage of the opportunities you are given at your internship. We have a lot of great opportunities here that I am able to be a part of. For example, yesterday I met one of Ohio’s congressmen. Every additional opportunity that comes my way I try to take part in to broaden my knowledge. I would also recommend to try to go above and beyond when it comes to your internship responsibilities. Each day I try to do more than I am asked or take charge of something on my own to show how important the job and work is to me and that I am capable of completing things on my own. I think this leaves a good impression with your boss which can be beneficial for a future reference or for possibly getting hired.
By Nichola Nease
I loved my opportunity to work at NOPEC (Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council). I loved this internship because it gave me a wide variety of experiences and allowed me to use some of the skills I learned in school in a real-world environment.
One of my main duties was assisting running the Facebook and Twitter accounts, posting daily content about energy facts, community outreach, and circulating NOPEC videos. I also worked on the NOPEC website quite often, both writing articles for the company blog and editing existing ones.
I enjoyed the number of unique experiences I had at my internship where I learned things outside the realm of public relations. I was able to be in several videos shot with the other interns, which was a really fun experience. It taught me a lot about video production and how creating videos helps boost brand awareness. Writing the blog posts, which were mostly about energy aggregation, STEM, energy efficiency, and other science-related topics gave me a greater understanding and appreciation of those subjects that I had almost no knowledge about before starting my internship.
I assisted with two large sponsorship events, the Rockin’ On the River concert series in Lorain and The Energy Bike Project event. For Rockin’ On the River, I worked on a ticket giveaway contest, and created a Facebook advertisement and promotional items. After attending the event, I also helped mail prizes from a raffle we held at the concert out to the winning participants. The Energy Bike Project, which is a 3-day event that teaches local middle school girls STEM skills while they build a bike that conducts electricity, was a very rewarding experience. I wrote a press release about the event, which was featured in some of the newsletters of the participating schools.
Another thing I greatly appreciated was how I never felt like just an intern at NOPEC. I felt like I was treated respectfully just like any full-time employee. The interns were invited to meetings and encouraged to participate often. I felt like a true member of the team, and will miss the wonderful people and experiences I had while interning at NOPEC.
By Rachel Stevenson
While working as an intern with Summit County Children Services (SCCS), I have been responsible for a variety of tasks including social media management, media relations, event planning and fundraising. My internship has challenged me to use skills I have obtained through various JMC classes to represent our agency’s mission of ensuring the safety, wellbeing and permanency of children-- especially those impacted by the opioid crisis. Some of the most rewarding experiences from my internship include writing press releases that were picked up by media sources such as Cleveland.com, creating a social media plan for the agency, assisting in planning our 2018 levy campaign and being appointed to the Fifth Annual Akron 5k and Recovery Walk planning committee. I also have been asked to present our comprehensive levy campaign to the entire executive board and all agency managers and supervisors during a meeting on Aug. 15, and I will be remaining with the agency during the fall and spring.
Throughout my internship, I have strengthened my leadership skills while learning to apply my education from Kent State to real-life problems and situations. At SCCS, the community relations department is constantly faced with new challenges in communicating key messages and framing problems such as the negative impact the opioid epidemic has had on our agency and the need for foster parents. My internship experience has shown me that each JMC class contributes to my personal and professional development, and I encourage all students to use exercises in the classroom to shape their future success in the workplace.
For students seeking internship opportunities, I encourage them to keep an open mind. I did not fully understand the impact or purpose of SCCS before accepting my internship, and I have become extremely passionate about the agency during these few months. Therefore, my greatest advice is to remain open to new experiences during internships and to use intuition and analysis to understand your client’s needs and create content to strengthen community relations wherever you may be.
By Latisha Ellison
This summer I was a content and PR intern at True Digital Communications, and I now know more about plumbing pipes and polyurethane building products than I ever thought I would. I was excited to work at True because I knew I would have the opportunity to enhance and expand my skill set.
Right away, I was given projects and daily responsibilities that included monitoring social media, handling industry news and creating content for our clients’ websites. In addition to blogging and social media, I had the opportunity to write an ad copy. One of my favorite days was when I learned how to launch Facebook ads targeting the right audience-- I had never done anything like that before!
Additionally, I was able to go on a work trip with my boss to a photoshoot that used our client’s products. This opportunity helped me better understand the products I had been writing about, and it was cool to see the behind-the-scenes action. This same client is updating its website, so I have had an active role in doing a website content audit. One of the more tedious tasks, but still very important and a great learning experience!
This internship showed me how an agency operates. I worked at True during an exciting time—the company is growing, they’re adding new team members and getting more work! I felt like a regular employee being handed work and expected to complete it just like the woman next me. I learned how to prioritize my work and time but the most challenging part was figuring out how much time to spend on a project and when another project was more important at that moment.
I have loved my time at True and the learning opportunities it has provided me. Wherever your internship is, take advantage of the knowledge surrounding you in your coworkers. Speak up, ask questions, work hard and shine on!