PRSSA Kent State University
By Brady Warmbein
Throughout my internship, I was responsible for several assignments and projects. To summarize my main responsibilities, I conducted 18 content audits on Sherwin-Williams’ main website and microsites, which included locating specific body copy, banners, email communication forums and more. I managed feedback and reported results through digital listening tools on a weekly basis. Additionally, I built six reports in Google Data Studio with other Google properties' data sources. I wrote two documented processes for coworkers, and I also created 15 service management tickets for site maintenance and redirects. I provided suggestions for SEO on the main website and worked closely with my manager to identify pages to optimize. I made over 150 edits on the main website through the company’s software management systems, CMC and AEM. Lastly, with the skills and tools that I learned, I am focusing on a project that key stakeholders have identified as critical: optimizing an important, high-traffic landing page.
I learned two key lessons during my internship. The first lesson is to always exercise patience. Most teams are busy, so expect delayed responses. Following up is a great way to hold someone accountable, so make sure to do it often. The second lesson I learned is to constantly network. Even though I had many responsibilities, I made sure to meet with certain teams and managers to learn about their roles and responsibilities in the company. Every manager I met was willing to tell me their stories, and through these discussions, I got to work with their teams more closely and received better responses whenever I had questions later on.
I advise future student interns to network as well. This increases the chances of getting recognized within the workplace, and it could lead to a potential job opportunity or internship extension. Although I was hesitant about working for a large company toward the beginning of the course, this was the best internship I could have asked for. Sherwin-Williams is an amazing company, and I would love to work for them again after graduation.
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.