This post first appeared on PRconnection (7.5.11) and is cross-posted with permission.
It’s been nearly two years since I first broached the subject of whether PR interns should pitch The Media. At that time, it seemed, most people had a very strong opinion one way or the other so I decided to do a quick poll and report the results.
And it is a topic that still sparks a lot of debate today. I’ve seen some recent chatter on Twitter about who should be pitching The Media and thought it was time to resurrect the poll and see what, if anything, has changed in the past couple years.
To the question, “Should PR interns pitch the media,” I got 71 votes and 11 comments using the LinkedIn polls tool. Since there are more women in PR than men, it’s not surprising that the respondents were mostly female.
Respondents could choose from the following answers:
- Yes with direct supervision
- Depends on the circumstances
Only 15 percent said “No” (as in, “never”).
Of those that replied with a “No,” Mitch Leff, owner of Leff & Associates PR firm, commented, “Wow…If I was a client, I’m hiring the agency for their expertise and to have their best people on my account. No way I’d pay an agency to have an intern pitching! Wow again.”
Of those that replied, “Yes with direct supervision,” Rodger D. Johnson, PR pro and professor (aka @getsocialpr) suggested:
“Interns need to learn how to pitch and the best way to do that is to pitch. They also need coaching, which is why it is best to have supervision early on. I might add that supervision should be in the roll of coach, teacher or mentor. And agency owners need to understand sometimes interns make mistakes. At the same time, a good agency owner or corporate communications director who be in the business of building people. After all, investing in people is how we build relationships, right?”
My personal thoughts are in-line with Rodger’s – how can you learn without doing? And, isn’t this business all about investing in and building relationships with people?
There were other great comments as well. If you’d like, you can review the comments and full results here, but let’s continue this conversation. What do you think?