With every new experience, there are new lessons and skills learned and my summer internship at PR Newswire was no exception. My internship was an incredible learning experience filled daily with so much knowledge and excitement. Reflecting back on my internship, most of what I learned was specific to PR Newswire; however, there are three main skills that can be applied to any sector of the PR world.
1. The art of crafting a good release. Even though PR Newswire does not write any press releases for their clients, I learned what sets a good release apart from a bad one. A good release is well written (you’d be surprised at the number of poorly written releases that have gone across the wire) and includes a photo/video. More people are inclined to click on something with a photo than without one, so having a multimedia component is essential and will generate more views.
A good news release will also include hyperlinks throughout the release that link back to only relevant sites to help further tell the story. The headline should be short and attention grabbing with a longer sub-headline. For every release written, there should be at least three keywords that should be appear in the headline, sub-headline and throughout the release which will help boost SEO results.
2. Mixing business with Twitter. Tweeting for any brand or business is much different than tweeting from your own personal Twitter account. Just as there is an art to crafting a good release, there is also a rulebook on drafting a tweet. Even though Twitter allows for up to 140 characters, your tweet should always be less than that (around 100-120 characters) to allow for retweets and responses. Every tweet should include one or two hashtags (any more than that looks like spam) and a photo or link. There have been studies that show that more people click on the link if it is inserted in the middle of the tweet rather than at the end.
3. Keyboard shortcuts. I’m sure a few of you are chuckling as you read this as it seems like a pretty basic and silly skill to be talking about. However, throughout my internship I learned the value in mastering keyboard shortcuts. Everyone in the office uses these shortcuts as they allow your work to flow more seamlessly, as you can do everything from the keyboard, and increase productivity. In the fast-paced industry that is PR, anything that saves you a little bit of time is worth doing!
While these skills may seem extremely basic, they are the foundation of the ever-changing PR industry and imperative to getting a brand’s message in front of the right audience!
-Kathleen Marincic will be a junior studying strategic communications. Follow her at @kathmarincic.