Consumer Journalist Turns B2B PR Intern

Nellie PR offers paid PR internships for the talented and PR experts of tomorrow.  Hollie-Anne Brooks joins us at a very busy and exciting time for Nellie PR.  This girl’s got talent so here’s hoping that Hollie-Anne will make a real and long-term contribution to Nellie PR.  Over to you Hollie-Anne for some of your thoughts on PR internships:

Taking on an intern within any business can be highly valuable; whether it’s a high flying publishing house which just needs someone to do the Starbucks runs or a small business who could really use the help in starting up. An intern, in the harshest sense, is basically another set of hands that will work 12 hours for the price of his/her bus fare. But is that what’s to be expected and should I, intern extraordinaire, brace myself for the hot water scalding ahead?

I’ve interned across an array of magazines, all at a time when I was based in London. My first internship began at Essentials magazine, the mid-market title run by IPC Media. I was a mere 18 years old and commuted in every single day from Essex where I was kipping on a friend’s sofa.

When I arrived at IPC, before I realised how non-glamorous the magazine world actually is, I swiped my card through the gates (complete with own security guard) and was dutifully placed in the fashion cupboard doing returns for the next four weeks. On my departure, I was given a little gift bag containing O.P.I nail paints. How sweet!

A year on and I’d have interned at several more titles, some the best experiences of my life and others the worst.

When I began as an intern, I genuinely believed I’d be the one to impress more than any other. I was going to be the girl who got the job at the glossy magazine within three months of coffee making and filing.

Every intern thinks like that, despite what they may say. And, within certain companies, there’s no reason why the dream job couldn’t come off the back of an internship. But, if it goes terribly wrong, an intern can honestly feel like they’ve picked the wrong vocation.

My newly found and much adored internship at Nellie PR looks promising but that’s as a result of some mutual understanding and respect.

An intern expects their employer to thank them for working late, to actually pay their expenses on time and to not think of them as free labour. In return, an employer will get an enthusiastic intern with bags of energy.

When an internship is selected carefully and not at a place where it’s a one-in-one-out type scenario, a person can achieve great results.

In all honesty, I’m simply hoping to learn a lot. It’s cliché but true. Coming from a fashion background where I could rave about the difference between Lancôme and Illasmasqua lipstick for hours, I’m not entirely sure I know a great deal about how the B2B PR side of things works. I have, to put it bluntly, never felt bright enough to dabble in the B2B world. But that’s the exciting part!

I’m also holding out for the possibility of published work and working on live projects. Within the PR business, every intern or entry-level candidate really wants to look at a major success and know they worked on that. It’s an honour to be trusted to write a certain piece of copy or sit in on meetings. Whilst an intern is hardly going to deal with your biggest client or be trusted to host a networking event, smaller things like allowing them to work on a press release (or a blog post!) really do make a difference.

As regards getting to the point where I’m as educated in B2B as I am in Jimmy Choo’s, it’ll come in time. Patience is a virtue with internships.

The key lesson for any company taking on board an intern is to get them involved.

And for interns, it’s all about choosing the correct placement. Don’t just go for the big name company because it looks good on your CV, go for the smaller brands that will engage you in the working world. At least that way you’ll come out knowing more than just how to a decent cappuccino.

Posted by Hollie-Anne Brooks, PR intern at Nellie PR.  Nellie PR is an engaging and attentive B2B PR, marketing communications consultancy.

Ellen Carroll

Ellen Carroll is a strategic PR and communication consultant. I provide PR training, mentoring and consultancy to help people and businesses to step out of the shadows with #PRthatPAYS

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