Five Tips for PR and Marketing Interns

internship advice
Posted by on April 30, 2014
internship advice

Internship tips

Interns new to PR and marketing quickly learn this industry is ever-changing – you never finish learning and growing. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some really great mentors throughout my career, but in the end, some lessons can only be learned through experience.

As we’ve been searching for our summer integrated marketing intern, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about tips I wish someone would have shared when I started my career in PR and marketing.

Here are 5 nuggets of wisdom I wish I had going into my first internship:

  1. Never stop learning. Look for tasks and projects that add value to the team you’re supporting. Read up on your clients’ industries and their competition, or browse through the latest trends on industry blogs and publications. Those who step up and go the extra mile to learn on their own, stand out from the pack.
  2. Hone your oral and written communication skills. In our industry, it’s especially important to be able to communicate clearly and concisely. No client, or manager, wants to sift through grammar mistakes to decipher what you’re trying to say. Reading your emails or copy out loud, can help you hear if something doesn’t make sense.
  3. Realize the importance of teamwork. Always be willing to lend a hand – you never know what opportunities will arise when you pitch in on projects outside of your day-to-day responsibilities. Your teammates will appreciate it, and will be more likely to return the favor when you need it.
  4. Networking events aren’t just for the free food and drinks. At agencies big and small, it’s all about building meaningful relationships in the industry and community. Find a professional organization that interests you, and attend their networking and “Lunch and Learn” events to start meeting others who are at various stages in their careers.
  5. You grow thick skin really fast. Ask anyone who’s ever worked in PR, and no doubt they’ll have a great failed pitch story (or several). Working in this industry means accepting rejection, and learning to move on from it.

My fellow PR and marketing pros, what advice do you wish someone had shared with you when you were interns?


  1. When I was an intern it was invaluable to seek out projects that were a bit of a stretch – it was a better learning experience to do something a little out of my comfort zone and ask for help/guidance vs. only doing simpler projects. And your comment about being a great team member and always wiling to pitch is so true – it paid off for me as I built long term relationships that lead to references, jobs, partnerships and even new clients.

    1. Thanks for the great piece of advice, Nancy! I agree, as an intern, any project I could get my hands on was such great opportunity. From learning the ropes of AP Style to video editing, interview techniques to crisis PR, every project was a chance to learn something new.

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