In early July, our Boston PR firm read a blog by Rodger Johnson on Get Social PR, “Public Relations Professionals: Should PR Interns Pitch To The Media.” It was based on Johnson's participation in a poll regarding whether or not interns should be relied upon to pitch to the media and perform other daily PR tasks. The blogger concludes that, “…agency owners and corporate communication managers should bring their interns into the inner circle. Teach them what they know, let them fail and make those mistakes teaching moments...”
In the past, PR agencies have been wary of letting interns participate in more high-level pitching activities because clients want the agencies' best people on their accounts. However, times have changed. We believe that everyone, no matter what his or her experience level, has something to offer our clients.
Experience has proven this philosophy.
Metis is a big believer in the Northeastern University cooperative education program (co-op). In fact, that's exactly how I met Metis' founders, Cathy Caldeira and Courtney Hurst, when I was a co-op student more than 10 years ago. Every six months, Metis welcomes new students for 40 hours a week to learn the ways of the trade, and we are committed to putting these interns on the path to becoming PR pros. If it weren't for actually performing daily PR activities, these interns wouldn't be as successful when they graduate.
We've taught all of our co-op students the tricks of the trade, sent them out into the world for others to benefit from our training, and also have hired several full-time. Most of these Metis alums have developed relationships with reporters and industry influencers in their six months here and understand what it takes to be successful when they leave.
Results talk. If an agency is producing results, exceeding expectations and serving as a true partner to a client's organization, does it really matter if an intern is participating on the account?
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