October 6, 2014
By: Devon Pine @LuckyNumbrDevon
Country Roads take me…to work
After various applications, rejections and turning down internships that I just couldn’t swing, I accepted my summer fate and moved back home with mom and dad. I was a few days into waiting tables when I received notice from McKinley for Congress 2014 inviting me to their team as a campaign intern. So, I packed up and headed to West by-God Virginia.
Looking back, I got more than a few writing samples and free lunches out of my internship:
Traditional PR isn’t dead. Working in politics, I found out fairly quickly that while social media and other digital forums were used, traditional media relations and grassroots marketing were the campaign’s focus. We worked mostly with volunteers and donors over the age of 60, who preferred to see things in hard print. While social is an extremely important ingredient in the PR mix, skills like writing a great press release or complying a solid media list are your bread and butter.
There is no “typical day” in the office. One week consisted of going to a Young Republicans luncheon, the next day I’m writing press releases, Thursday we’re painting a new office location and Saturday afternoon I’m knocking doors/taking surveys. Whether you’re in a corporate, nonprofit or agency setting, be prepared to move quickly and work on various projects throughout the internship.
Research your field. I am not a West Virginian and I am not a Republican. Yet, here I am working for a Congressman who is both. You may not be familiar with, or even agree with your client’s business, but it is crucial you do your homework and understand it. We’re here to take the medical, tech or political jargon and translate it into something their consumers can comprehend.
As October begins, I have a few goals for my last semester at Ohio University.
Start a career in corporate PR. Wait…what? As much as I loved my internship, lets be honest, not getting paid for 30 hours of work per week can be the pits. I’m sure this goal is shared among us PR stars (especially the seniors).
Be a dependable mentor. I don’t know where I would be without many of the past leaders of PRSSA and ImPRessions. Knowing I could count on them for advice was extremely beneficial. I hope that I can help another Bobcat reach his or her goals, even if it’s just helping set my co-Account Exec and the rest of the AVW account up for success next semester.
Cross everything off of my OU bucket list. It hasn’t exactly been easy accepting the fact that I’m leaving Heaven on Earth in just a few short months. Let’s see how many PRSSA meetings I can attend, UPC comedy shows I can laugh at and slices Goodfellas I can eat before December 12th.