Our current interns, Erin and Dan, are busily working on their projects for the week.

You just graduated from college, maybe even summa cum laude. But, if you don’t have experience in your field, finding a job can be a daunting task. The easiest way to get that much needed experience is to find an internship. In fact, it’s best if you have a few!

In public relations, interning at a nonprofit, corporation or agency will give you very different experiences.  If you are searching for your first internship, check out 4 tips for breaking into the world of public relations.

At Franco, we look for interns who are at least juniors in college and have already had a couple internships.  It’s an invaluable experience that could lead to future employment. It’s the longest job interview you’ll ever have – take it from two previous interns!  Here are a few skills you’ll pick up while interning with Franco:

Learn how to manage your time

Agency work is very fast paced, and you’ll rarely have down time. Franco interns have the opportunity to take part in agency and account team meetings, visit clients, sit in on conference calls, draft news releases and build media lists. A Franco internship is not a “coffee internship.” You’re given real responsibilities and serve on account teams, which is why and how you’ll learn to manage your time.

Improve your spoken communication skills

As Michelle Zdrodowski noted in her blog on interpersonal communication, sometimes it is better to pick up the phone than it is to send an email. If you need to provide urgent information, sometimes it’s quicker to make a call than to type it out. Phone calls are also more personable, so it’s easier to convey your message.  At Franco you get to talk to a lot of people — clients, media and suppliers.

Improve your written communication skills

A huge part of public relations is communicating a message through the written word. Our interns have the opportunity to draft media materials including press releases, media advisories, executive biographies and speaking points. Franco’s experienced account team members edit and provide feedback.

Build relationships with the media

Franco interns have the opportunity to contact the media with client news.  While it can be nerve-racking the first few times, after you’ve had some practice it comes naturally.  And you always have Franco’s media relations experts guiding you along the way. From creating a media list and pitching the news to attending TV segments and clipping the results, you’ll see how media relations work from start to finish.

What do you think are the most valuable things to learn from an internship? We’d love hear your thoughts.

Joe Ferlito is a senior account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5031 or ferlito@franco.com.

Marie Stawasz is an assistant account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5201 or stawasz@franco.com. Follow Marie on twitter @MarieStawasz.

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