Last week I wrote a post summarizing some recent posts on the topic of PR interns pitching the media, adding my own two cents along the way. I tweeted the link to my post and it sparked a lot of conversation.
@CMM_PR suggested that an informal web-poll could be an interesting measurement for this question. I set-up a very basic poll with yes/no answers based on whether you’re a PR pro, student or educator on PollDaddy and tweeted the link. @prcindy suggested that I add a yes/no for members of the media, which I did immediately.
Forty-six people registered their opinion in the poll and the breakdown is as follows:
- 18 Out of 24 PR pros say, “Yes, PR interns should be allowed to pitch the media.” Six say “no.”
- Of the 18 PR students that replied, 16 said, “yes.” Two said “No, they shouldn’t be allowed to pitch the media.”
- Only Two PR educators voted, both of whom said “yes.”
- Two members of the media split their vote with one having indicated “yes” and one “no.”
Obviously, this isn’t a scientific study but it does show most agree that PR interns should be educated, prepared, coached and allowed to pitch.
Some follow-up comments/quotes:
I asked Heather Huhman, journalist/career expert to students and young professionals and founder of Come Recommended, for her thoughts on the subject. She replied, “If interns aren’t going to pitch the media during their internship, then what skills are they leaving with, exactly? They can learn the principles of pitching in the classroom. I completely agree with Abby Gutowski—it’s up to the supervisor to manage the situation properly.”
My BurrellesLuce colleague Valerie Simon, and #PRStudChat host, offered “An internship is an excellent opportunity to get some firsthand experience in the pitching process. Interns can gain valuable experience doing the necessary research, writing the draft of a pitch, and assisting with the necessary follow-up.”
And, finally, Chris Sleight, editor at KHL Group Publishing in the UK, replied on the poll page with, “Yes, as long as they’re trained and well-briefed. This includes knowing the client’s business well enough to be able to answer simple follow-up questions on the spot. Amazing how many agencies throw their students/interns to the lions without any of the tools they need to do the job. Not only is it unfair on the individual, it means the pitch fails and the agency comes across as a bunch of unprofessional idiots. So short-sighted!”