Posts Tagged ‘interns’


Top BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas Posts in 2011 – Numbers 20 to 11

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

iStock_000010469879XSmallAs 2011 winds to a close, no year would be complete without a wrap-up list of some kind. In that spirit, we are counting down the 20 Top BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas posts in 2011. In today’s post we will be highlighting numbers 20 to 11.

Did your favorite Fresh Ideas posts make the list? Be sure to leave a comment and let us know.

20. The Art of Storytelling

19. PRSSA National Conference Speed Networking PR Student Questions

18. How to Speak C-Suite

17. Disappearing Act: 10 Brands That May Not Be Around in 2012

16. The New York Women in Communications 2011 Matrix Awards

15. When a Hashtag Leads to Help: PR Tips from #BlueKey

14. Zappos, 24/7 Customer Service in the Internet Age

13. Oscar’s Social Media Fever

12. Snooki’s Appearance at Rutgers – Good PR or Poor Reputation Management?

11. Poll Results: Should PR Interns Pitch the Media?

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POLL RESULTS: Should PR Interns Pitch The Media?

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

This post first appeared on PRconnection (7.5.11) and is cross-posted with permission.

Poll Results: Should Interns Pitch The MediaIt’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
  • Yes with direct supervision
  • Depends on the circumstances
  • No

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?

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Required Reading for PR Professionals

Friday, August 27th, 2010

Valerie Simon

Required Reading for PR ProfessionalsAs interns head into the office for the first time this fall, eager to make a good impression and begin a successful career, wouldn’t it be nice to be given a reading list…a list of books that hold the secrets and lessons to give you that extra advantage? I decided to ask a few leaders in the PR industry, “Is there a book you’d consider ‘required reading’? Something you wish every new hire read prior to their first day on the job?” Here are their responses:

Beyond How-to and PR 2.0
“I think better than any how-to or PR 2.0 book are business bios that inspire,(e.g., Howard Schulz, J. Dyson), books re: creativity, and Mad Men,” says Dorothy Crenshaw, CEO and creative director Crenshaw Communications. Personally, I love reading the biographies of successful business leaders; in fact, Howard Schulz’s “Pour Your Heart Into It” has a special place on my bookshelf.

Good for All Levels
Stephanie Smirnov, president, Devries PR suggests “Making News in the Digital Era” by David Henderson.

Global Clientele and Mega Trends
Alex Aizenberg , group manager, Weber Shandwick: “Hot, Flat, and Crowded” and “The World Is Flat” both by Tom Friedman.

Must Reads
Richard Laermer, founder and CEO, RLM Public Relations: “Elements of Style” by E.B. White and “On Writing Well” by Wiliam Zinsser.

Start Your Career Right
Christine Barney, CEO Rbb Public Relations: “The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t” by Robert Sutton.

The World Around You
As Stefan Pollack, president of The Pollack PR Marketing Group points out, “With today’s explosion of information, to me, required reading is to read everything one can get their hands on.  Books, eBooks, white papers, blogs, etc..Today’s entry level pro needs to up their level of intellectual curiosity and their life experiences. They need to know more about everything and as important link it to their pursuit for a career in PR.” Pollack’s recommendation: “the Book of Life, the life that is around you both near and far. By upping one’s intellectual curiosity, new hires, run the greater chance of understanding the contextual relevance of what they read when applying it to what they do. ”

As for my suggestions? Attempting to choose a single book to offer up as required reading is certainly not easy. My friends at BurrellesLuce and I frequently pass around books and a few of my favorite books, among those that have circulated, include:

But I think that if I could mandate a single book as required reading for new hires, I’d just stick to an old favorite: “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie. While Carnegie may have written the book in 1936, the simple lessons are timeless and perhaps more important today than ever before.

What book would you suggest a new employee reads before coming on board at your organization?

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Poll Results: Should PR Interns Pitch the Media?

Friday, October 30th, 2009
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Flickr Image: lakelandlocal

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!”

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Should PR Interns Pitch The Media?

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
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Flickr Image: chemisti

Typically, I try to share tips on pitching the media including bloggers.  In this post, I’d like to discuss whether PR interns should engage in pitching the media.  My BurrellesLuce colleague, Valerie Simon, mentioned this as part of her post, “Summer PR Internships: Preparing for Your Future” several months ago, but I’d like to expand on that mention and get your feedback.

Earlier this year, I read a blog post by Joan Stewart (aka the Publicity Hound) where she gave four reasons why interns should never be allowed to pitch the media. (The post is in response to a Forbes.com “do-it-yourself PR tactics” article.) Seems to me, her reasons boil down to a single point – that is she believes interns do not sound professional.  Stewart likens a PR intern pitching the media to a med school student performing brain surgery. I am not sure I agree with such an extreme analogy, but I do see her point.

@Journalistics then posted a blog saying he does believe interns should get real-world experience, but likens their pitching to “having an assistant shop for your spouse.” He goes on to give some compelling arguments and even turns the tables, suggesting: “What if the local paper wanted to interview you for a story and sent the intern out to write it? How would that make you feel?”  In the end, Porter concedes that there are some instances where having a PR intern pitch the media is just fine.

Spurred by the Journalistics’ post, Becky Johns fired a rebuttal with her own, “7 Reasons To Let Your Intern Pitch Your Story.” She provided well-thought-out responses and sums it up with, “Of course, it is not always appropriate for interns to make pitches, and supervisors should use good judgment when it comes to making pitching opportunities available to interns. But just because someone has the label ‘intern’ does not mean that person cannot gather a proven track record and gain more responsibility and independence with projects over time.”  Very good point!

Weidert Group’s interns chimed-in with help from their PR manager and internship coordinator, Abby Gutowski. Her post states “Teaching young PR interns the art of a media pitch can be scary to hand-off, but it is the responsibility of PR managers to do it right.” She then provides some excellent tips on how to do so successfully.

In response to the same Forbes article mentioned earlier, an IT reporter responded: “I personally don’t care if it’s the senior person or an intern that is pitching me necessarily. What matters is that whoever is trying to get me to pay attention, has done their homework, and understands both who I am and write about, as well who their client really is talking to and about.”

The reporter response sounds about right to me.  Perhaps this should be a discussion question for #PRStudChat?  What do you think?

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