By Maya Hutchinson, Intern at LCI
After spending the last few months as an intern at Landis Communications, Inc. (LCI), I have a newfound enthusiasm for the field of PR. As my internship at LCI comes to a close, it will be difficult to leave my new LCI family, but I move on with an appreciation of what public relations is and why it matters. I now leave LCI with my expectations more than met, with the added bonus of a satisfying understanding that the work we do truly helps our clients’ succeed.
My internship in public relations was the ultimate first ‘real job’ experience. Public relations requires a very specific, distinct expertise. However, it also coexists with many other fields, such as marketing, sales, advocacy and education. Throughout my internship, I was exposed to an incredible team of experts, a variety of industries and a host of passionate clients. Being successful in PR takes a lot of hard individual work and team collaboration. There are important business and administration aspects of PR, but there is also a beautiful, creative and intellectual process that, at best, gets our clients’ key messages out for public consumption. As I conclude my three-month “PR intensive” with LCI, I have identified three vital and strategic components of PR that guided our efforts on a daily basis.
The functional aspect of PR. Drafting pitches and press releases taught me that flowery language and big adjectives are not applicable for PR, as a press release should focus more on getting the hard facts and message out without a biased tone. In order to get an article or mention in a press piece, you must be honest, direct and clear, while, of course, engaging your audience.
The relationship aspect of PR. Maintaining relationships is one of the most important lessons I learned throughout this internship. Successfully reaching a reporter, publication or broadcasting station is a tough feat to accomplish, and once it happens, it is important to sustain that relationship, because it serves our clients in the present and, hopefully, again in the future.
The networking aspect of PR. LCI represents a wide variety of companies, from real estate companies like Troon Pacific to nonprofits like the California Academy of Sciences. This not only gave me an inside look into the various businesses we represent, but it also taught me that each client requires a different work approach. For example, a press release for an event at the California Academy of Sciences will look, and sound, completely different from a press release for an event at the Museum of the African Diaspora. The end goal may be the same, but the language is geared towards the client’s specific audience.
To all the PR pro’s out there: what’s another valuable, and necessary, aspect of PR that you have distinguished in your work? Feel free to leave a comment below or email me at [email protected].