Reality Vs Expectations

Internship, the word itself terrified me. My seniors wouldn’t even want remember the days of their internship. The days of horror, as they would recount. Somewhere along the way I had made the decision that I would never intern. I promised myself that I would never buy coffee, clean tables and do others work. Why intern when we can start working? So when I was informed that I would be interning at a PR firm for 2 months I could help but think 57 days of torture. I didn’t have any other option , I had to intern but I made my mind that I would not serve coffee. However, this perception did change when I joined my internship.
It was only weeks for my internship and I had already started receiving advices. I was told, internship is the best thing that can happen to a student. Contrary to what I always believed. The main purpose of the internship was to get a job. Impress the firms with your capabilities and compel them to bring you back as an employee. It was an opportunity where you get exposed to the corporate world while one studied. I was told, I would be working in one of the top 10 PR firms in India. This chance was not given to everyone and I should not miss out on it. Do not waste your time and always ask for more work was engraved in my mind. Yet, I could not stop the jitters. Internship continued to haunt me. With all my courage I joined my firm.
I have often heard, expectations are never matched by reality but I had never experienced it. That was about change. I was happy when my expectations were not matched. I did not have bring coffee or clean tables, rather I was shown the practical side of the PR world. I learnt a lot more on ground than in class. I was exposed to what clients expect from us and what should we expect from them. The 57 days turned into 2 short months. Asking for work had become an habit. Once the barriers fell, I couldn’t help but enjoy my every moment spent in my internship. Today when I am asked about internship, all I can say is, It is the best thing that can happen to a student.

This blog post originally appeared on the author’s blog site.

-Reenal Lobo

internship

Reenal Lobo is a student of the PG Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. She has completed her Bachelors in Commerce from St. Agnes College, Mangaluru

Essential Skill Sets for A Public Relations Aspirant

Degrees are not everything, especially when it comes to Public Relations. To be a successful PR professional one needs to be an all-rounder. It is important to hone your skills to strengthen your career in this profession. Technology has played a major role in bringing about a paradigm shift, but we have not yet reached that stage where human intervention can be ruled out.

My two-month Internship at a leading Public Relations firm has helped me identify a set of core skills that an aspiring Public Relations professional should have.

Communications Skills

This is like the alphabets of Public Relations. Strong communication skills backed by smart diplomacy defines the foundation for your career in this profession. You should be able to articulate your ideas and listen to others. Listening is important here because communication is a two-way process. To be a good communicator you should be able to understand body language and be observant enough to look out for other forms of non-verbal hints which reflects the state of mind of people. As a PR professional you will always be selling something and how well you do that depends on your ability to communicate.

Research

Your statements have to be backed by facts. You need to be updated about current happenings, about your clients and their business as well as their competitors. You will be required to map out trends as per your clients’ requirement. If you are serious about a career in PR be ready to do a lot of research and of you are naturally inquisitive you will enjoy this part.

Writing Skills

Content generation and documents are unavoidable to PR. Drafting Press releases, drafting interview answers, briefing reports, event reports, case studies the list can go on. Good writing skills is a must. This skill has to be backed with your research skill and to generate content you need to have knowledge about the subject and for that you need to research.

Creativity

Creativity and PR go hand in hand. Public Relations as a profession constantly calls for ideas and originality. PR professionals develop strategies for clients. Being able to contribute in brainstorming sessions for campaigns and strategies require creative and original thinking. Thinking out of the box, being creative is a key factor to being successful in this field.

Media Management

Print and TV still holds great deal of influencing power and therefore cannot be ignored. If you wish to build your career in PR, be prepared to make those media calls, update numerous media lists and pitch for your clients constantly. Mapping industry trends and competitors are also a part of this.

Digital Fluency

Social Media has taken over the world. Digital content creation, online reputation management, SEO are very much in demand. It is much more than liking, sharing and retweeting. Social media has bridged the gap between brands and consumers. To cope with this transition, it is important to have an understanding of digital communications.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog site.

– Julia Joseph

Julia isskills a part of Class of 2018 of the Post Graduate Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. She is a Master’s Degree in English Literature, and has worked with The Promise Foundation of PR prior to joining SCoRe.

She can be reached at @TheJuliaJoseph on Twitter and as here on LinkedIn.

 

Importance of Homework!

When I recall my childhood days, I don’t really remember a happy child who loved her homework. I reminisce a cribbing child who felt irritated with pending work. She was someone who loved wrapping up work and going back home, free. Like someone, who wanted work to stay at work place and get back home, baggage free. But then as days passed, she grew up and learnt to deal with the dreadful, homework. Also, as she grew up, the definition of the word homework changed for her. In some years, the definition evolved from ‘completing the homework’ to ‘research’.

Now that I have completed my two months of internship at a reputed Public Relations firm, I really understand the importance of the word, homework. These two months have changed a girl from being a I-don’t-care-about-homework to homework-is-important girl.

The first incident which triggered this change was this journalist who works for The Hindu publication. During my internship, I was handling a consumer technology client. And for that client’s work, I had to call up journalists and pitch. So, one of the work was to pitch for a renowned Sri Lankan Opera singer. As usual, I was asked by my senior to talk to the features journalists for this singer. And for two days, in spite of making numerous calls, I realised that none of the journalists were interested in writing about her and some even said that they cover different beats. And that’s when I realised that perhaps I was reaching out to the wrong journalists. I did my ‘homework’ and mapped out a set of journalists who write on music. On the third day, I made my first call for this singer. The name of this journalist was Anurag Tagat. When I explained him that I have someone’s profile and I feel it might interest him, he interrupted me by saying that he only covers music. On mentioning with conviction, that I know his beat and the fact that this will definitely interest him, he did sound happy and surprised. And at last, I bagged my first interview opportunity for this singer. My ‘homework’ on this journalist gave me success!

And that’s when I realised the worth of the word, ‘homework’. I realised why teachers put so much stress on this particular thing or rather why was I scolded all the time for not doing my homework.

There is another incident which I particularly recall from my internship days. One day, during a call with a journalist, ten minutes into the conversation, he sternly said that he has changed his publication. And when I told him that I was aware of it and wanted to talk with him regarding that, he did sound happy. Furthermore, he appreciated that I have done my homework well.

So, finally the cribbing child has grown up and now appreciates her homework.

This blog originally appeared on the author’s blog site.

– Riya Sarkar

research in pr

Riya is a student of the Class of 2018 of the Post Graduate Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. She has completed her Masters in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. She can be reached at Riya Sarkar on LinkedIn and @sarkarriya_92 on Twitter.

Briefing Points Before Starting a Public Relations Internship

I was lucky enough to work at a well-reputed Public Relations firm this year. To make things easier for anyone and everyone that is interested in doing the same, please see below to get yourself acquainted with the job.

First things first, you will be assigned Four basic things that every Public Relations intern gets to do:

  1. Media lists

You will be asked to update Media lists. This may seem like a very trivial thing to do but its integral for every PR professional to know what journalists cover which beats from which publications. If it’s done right, this will help you get your basic PR learning in this regard.

  1. Media follow-ups

You might also be asked to make up follow up calls to journalists to get opportunities in getting coverage for your client. For this, make sure you write down a script with every possible question and response you anticipate from this conversation. Try a few trial sessions and before you know it, you’ll get a hang of it.

  1. Print/Online/Broadcast/Social Media tracking for your clients and their competition

You will be asked to either manually or digitally track the news for your client and competition. This will take a lot of your time but make sure you track properly. Take breaks when you can, don’t let this process get the better of you.

  1. Media Releases

To get yourself ready for this task, read as many press releases as you can find online. Try to understand the language and the framing used for them.

Practice, practice, practice.

Apart from these tasks, it’s extremely important to do your research about your firm, key members of the firm, members of your team, your client and your competition. This knowledge will help you add value to the team.

Likewise be aware of what is happening not only in your industry but all industries in the country. For that, you’ll need to read newspapers and follow web pages of regulatory bodies. This will help you become a force to be reckoned with in your team.

Be enthusiastic and make the right connections and hopefully your company will ultimately integrate you into their firm.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog site.

-Ishaan Lahiri

pr firmIshaan is a student of the Class of 2018 of the PG Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. He has completed his Bachelors in Psychology from Ambedkar University, Delhi. He can be reached at Ishaan Lahiri on LinkedIn and @LahiriIshaan on Twitter

We The Women – A Summit of, by and For Women

Our journey with We The Women started with one tweet from our Dean, Amith Prabhu. A tweet where he suggested Barkha Dutt, the curator of this event that there are five girls and one boy who can volunteer for this event. He was talking about me and my friends from Class of 2018 at SCoRe.

We The Women (#WeTheWomen) was a two day participatory, open to all forum for women that offered ‘Break Free’ 48 hours to bring together diverse view points and a celebration of all that women have achieved. It was curated by renowned and India’s only Emmy nominated journalist Barkha Dutt. The forum talked about women from various fields like sports, art, music and films. Read more “We The Women – A Summit of, by and For Women”

A Letter to Class of 2017 of PR School – SCoRe

Dear Class of 2017,

As you go on to join your first roles in Public Relations, you’ll be putting to practice a lot of stuff you’ve learned or observed over the last nine months in your Post Graduation in Public Relations. Over 70 senior communicators (heads of PR consultancies & corporate communications teams), and business owners have shared their experiences and insights with you on what it takes to be a powerful PR professional. And you on your part have been brilliant students absorbing and assimilating these insights.

Read more “A Letter to Class of 2017 of PR School – SCoRe”