Public Relations from an Intern's Perspective
By Michael Hersh, Intern, L.A.
As a newly-minted college graduate, I had little knowledge of how to apply a degree in English from Kenyon College to a viable career. I found the months directly after graduation filled with certain edginess and cynicism that wore the chords of a childhood long forgotten and adulthood that was slow to start. It was, in a sense, a loss of identity.
Shortly after beginning my internship at Fusion, I found that my colleagues and I held common interests, similar perspectives and skills. It was becoming clear that their academic talents aligned amiably with what it took to execute successful PR campaigns and succeed as professional communicators. They took me under their wing and began educating me about their account work. Everything from cursory account overviews to in-depth discussions around campaign elements were covered — I began to see PR, as an industry, unfold. As the months passed, I took on more responsibility and started understanding the strategy behind PR. Indeed, there was more to the PR iceberg than what appeared on the surface. I found that successful PR is the end product of effective communication, planning, scrupulous attention to detail, and proactive creativity.
Most interesting was the way in which PR impacted my personal life. Understanding the complexities and expectations of a client’s business has given me a new level of perception when it comes to understanding how a close friend or loved one thinks. The creativity needed to pitch a story can also be used to help think of imaginative solutions to solve outside-work problems, plus, there’s always learning to represent yourself to others in the best possible light. Gathering and processing information for a press release develops one’s ability to juggle multiple elements while presenting them in an intelligible and well received format. Stepping away from the academic world and into the professional setting was jolting, but my time at Fusion provided a timely set of tools and, on an unexpected level, an identity.