I’ve spent most of the past four years in a small but passionate community known as Athens, Ohio. However, this past fall I spent two and half months away from my beloved home. Very, very far away. I interned at a small boutique public relations agency called Dani Lombard Public Relations in Sydney, Australia.
Each and every day I learned something new about public relations. Each and every day I learned something new about the beautiful, yet sometimes complicated world we live in. Each and every day I learned how valuable my experiences have been at Ohio University and within the ImPRessions organization, specifically.
One of the main reasons I wanted to step out of my comfort zone and intern abroad was that I knew I had enough preparation and public relations skills under my belt to survive in a foreign country.
Here are a few ways that my ImPRessions experience transferred to interning in Australia:
The value of teamwork. Being a part of ImPRessions for three years requires a tremendous amount of teamwork considering each account is split up into small teams. Last year I worked on the AVW Productions account and we were in charge of planning an event for a new video premiere called Camelittle. Each account associate worked on a different aspect of planning. I specifically worked with another account associate to create a press release for the event. We not only had to work as a team to make the whole event a success but we also had to work together to craft the perfect press release.
Similarly, Dani Lombard Public Relations has four female employees (five including me). During my stay, we all sat around the same large desk and were in constant communication with one another. Often times, we would all be working towards the same goal but each have a different task to accomplish. Teamwork seems like a simple and easily attainable skill but in reality it takes a great deal of patience and practice.
Written communication. Throughout my career as an ImPRessions member, I have volunteered to write a number of PR-related assignments. I knew that these writing tasks would only help me in the long run. Boy, was I WRITE! (get it?!) I had the opportunity to write a number of press releases, pitches and blog posts as an account associate. I believe I gained more PR writing experience through ImPRessions than through my actual coursework.
When I was asked to write a press release for a client at Dani Lombard I first had a minor jump-up-and-down in my seat moment and then proceeded to write the release with confidence. Although writing styles are different and the average length of a press release in Australia is at least two pages, I was still able to show my co-workers that my writing skills are transferable in a global industry.
Knowing your media. Working with an ImPRessions client that spanned the Athens area required me to be very familiar with the local media such as The Post, The Athens Messenger, WOUB and other event websites. Depending on the story or event my team was trying to pitch, we would tailor our message to a certain group of people or a certain publication. For example, the Camelittle event previously mentioned was tailored towards young children since it was an animated film. My team and I then crafted our message for Athens elementary school and middle school kids along with their parents.
During my international internship, I had to become very familiar with the media my co-workers pitched to. Dani Lombard has a wide variety of clients. However, its focus is on natural beauty products. Therefore, I became very familiar with magazines such as Australian Vogue, Women’s Fitness, Women’s Health and various other weekly gossip magazines. Knowing your media will allow you to craft your very best pitch to the right audience, no matter where you are in the world.
-Carly Damman is a senior studying strategic communication. To learn more about her adventures abroad follow her @CarlyDamman. To learn more about the company she interned for visit: www.danilombard.com.au