When I was a senior in high school, I had my first PR internship. The firm I worked at was hired to work on two separate political campaigns throughout the year. The first one was to coordinate the campaign. During this process I created literature and delivered them to possible constituents. I would also help to plan several different events and fundraisers for the candidate. The second client hired as an extension of their campaign to work on fundraising and community engagement. I spent a lot of time calling names from a list and asking for money, as well a lot of time planning events and fundraisers. I was given a unique opportunity to work at a small understaffed and quickly growing PR firm. I was given responsibility that under normal circumstances I would not have had and as a result I learned a lot and was given the opportunity to gain real experience as a very young high school student.
I currently work for a PR firm based out of downtown Detroit. We service mainly high profile professional athletes. My job at the PR firm is to work with clients on their brands and social media management. During the summer I worked in the office and attended client meetings, however now that I am at school, I work off my computer. This job has definitely taught me a lot about PR. When I envisioned PR before, I thought about a bunch of frantic people doing a hundred things at a time. In my experiences, I view PR as a job that requires a lot of organization, a commitment to meticulous planning, and a dedication to being the most educated person in the room. Due to the geographic positions and interests of my clients, most of the time I am working is spent doing research. I set up an email exclusively for google alerts of my clients. I spend roughly 5 to 10 hours a week just reading about my clients and their personal and professional interests. As their brand manager it is my job to know all about current events and deal with them all accordingly.
I spent a lot of time with one client in particular this summer. He was being featured on a documentary series on CNN. The show attempted to find the most inspiring entrepreneur in the country. After a few meetings we talked about strategies to propel his brand and increase his platform. Through research we found the times at which his twitter following was most active and which tweets were performing the best and we targeted those times to get people thinking about his company and to get them to support his brand. This client in particular taught me quite a bit. He asked me to deliver a unique PR campaign because he was a unique person with a unique business and a unique goal. Even though it wasn’t always easy and we didn’t always agree on different strategies, we were eventually able to figure out an effective strategy to grow his brand while staying true to his values.
I am very excited for this class. I think that CAP 220 can strengthen my foundation and give me the tools to perform my job better. Although I have about 3 years of experience working in PR, most of that experience has been in places where I wasn’t prepared or trained for the jobs I was doing. Through hard work I taught myself a lot, but this class will hopefully give me the opportunity to do my job better and more efficiently.