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Lesson from a PR by the Book Intern

POSTED BY prbythebook ON June 20, 2013

by Business Development Intern, Draike De La Garza 

Public relations is the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting consequences, counseling organization leaders, and implementing a planned direction of action that will serve to meet the goals set by the organization.

At PR by the Book, my title for the spring semester was Business Development and Assistant Publicist intern, where I worked on various assigned projects that gave me a varied experience in the field of public relations. PR by the Book definitely served as a bridge that will help apply my academic training to actual employment.

Communicate openly
During my first staff meeting I realized how crucial open communication is in the field of public relations. Working on a project, for example, requires communicating multiple options on the correct platforms. Today, in the fast-paced environment we live in, it even more important for an organization to create the right image to the general public. Excellent people skills and knowing when to ask the right question at the right time can be key to this.

Develop an authentic pitch
During many projects it was important for me to understand that everyone’s time is valuable, so it is fundamental to be able to take a blank piece of paper and become a self-starter to create a pitch persuasive enough to get responses back from editors, producers, etc. I learned that the pitch is the jumping off point for any PR project. I had to ask myself, “How will I grab the attention of a magazine editor in a short, to-the-point email?” Some additional tips I learned from the PR by the Book team were to use a genuine tone in pitches, make sure the pitch is targeted the right person (e.g. do your research) and do not burn contacts after the work is through. Staying in contact, even if they decline your pitch, creates rapport and connections in the future.

Tecaboca logo

Tecaboca is one of the passion projects interns assisted on this past semester

It’s a challenge in PR when you work so hard on a pitch that catches little to no attention. I have learned not to let this motivate me to find that right angle for the client instead of getting bogged down in frustration. Finding that correct angle takes some research; sifting through blogs and websites to connect with what is currently trending and most beneficial for our clients.

Utilize all platforms available to you
The PR by the Book internship opportunity showed me the ever so necessary link between other staff members to utilize resources found by others, for example during a staff meeting members’ ideas and connections were shared for current or upcoming projects. As different ideas circulated around the room so did the sharing of past contacts that would be able to reach the specific client’s goal. I learned how to utilize the correct pitch with the correct platforms. If you really think about everyone involved, it’s a little mind boggling to think about all of the communication that happens to keep things like a summer camp, a textile company, a blog for luxury travel or big time authors in business. PR is vital to an organization’s success and the PR by the book internship has outlined the business role of PR I will surely use in the future.

PR by the Book’s internship program offers students a first-hand look at the world of book publicity and some of the behind-the-scenes tasks that take place in our unique company setting. Our program is 6-months long (spring and fall semester). We look for talented minds to work with us in a publicity capacity and a business development capacity. If you or someone you know is looking for experience in PR, business development or the book industry, please email babs@prbythebook.com for more information.

To learn more about Tecaboca, click here

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