As most of us know, being an intern in the Public Relations field can be hard. We don’t normally get paid, we often have tedious tasks to complete and juggling school with an internship can sometimes feel impossible. But there’s a reason we still do it, the experiences and opportunities internships open for us are second to none. As an intern at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, I find myself experiencing new things and learning every day. Most recently, I was invited to help the Communications Department of the museum at a Press Advance Luncheon in New York City. At this particular press advance, the CEO of the museum as well as the curators of the upcoming exhibitions spoke to press about what they were working on for the upcoming year. Meant to connect New York journalists with PMA curators so that their exhibitions can be covered, it is one of the most important events the Communications Department produces. Here are some of the most important things I learned helping out as an intern for this event:
When working a press event, it’s easy to get caught up in the logistics. Whether it’s fixing the seating chart, making sure you have enough press packets or worrying about being on schedule, it’s easy to get caught up in the planning when you should really be worrying about the most important people there…the press. When working with the press, it’s your job to take the time to get to know them. The more you know about who they are or what kind of stories they write, the easier it will be for you to find leads and make the connections between the press and in this case, the appropriate curators to speak with.
As an intern, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by an event and hide in the shadows of the chaos. But think of it this way, there is a reason that they want you there. Even if you are just an intern, you are a vital part of making sure the event runs smoothly. Be proactive and always ask if you can do more to help out. Whether its directing people from one room to another, chasing press to make sure they received press materials or just being an extra helping hand, you can always be of help.
At the end of every event, it’s important to reflect back on how the event went so that you can better it for next time. Sitting down with all people involved and breaking down what went well and what can be improved on will help you find the strengths and weaknesses amongst your team, and will help you to start planning for the next event. Sitting down and reflecting allows you to be realistic about what you deliver with the resources you have, and makes for better events in the future.
Is there an event you’ve worked as an intern that you were able to learn from? Let us know!
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Rute Barkai.