A Brave New World: My First Month as a Fusion Intern
By Laura Davenport, Intern
I looked at my calendar today and was bowled over when I realized that I have been at Fusion for over a month. In the wake of this realization, I began to reflect on the ways in which my perceptions of PR have changed. These shifts are caused by both my continuing education at USC Annenberg, and by the professional experience I gain every day at Fusion’s LA office. I thought that for this blog post, I would share some of these revelations. I am at the very beginning of my career in this field, and thus my impressions and interactions of and within the field might offer a unique perspective.
Before I begin, I should explain the place at which I began. I had done very little official PR. The little I had done was in the Agriculture industry which, as every industry does, comes with its own challenges and obstacles. I was intrigued by Fusion, not because it does tech PR, but because it offered me the chance to do the real work of public relations in a collaborative and hands-on scenario. It has done exactly that, and here are some of the observations and insights I’ve gained since starting here:
Public relations has ebbs and flows, but it is how you adjust to the constant motion that makes or breaks your experience.
It never ceases to amaze me how a day at the office can go from quiet to hectic with the receiving of one client email. This happens in a moment and the team is forced to set aside whatever it is that they’re working on to deal with the incoming business. This sort of atmosphere and the ever-present possibility of upheaval fosters a necessary flexibility in those members who work on the accounts. I have learned that as a public relations person, you are not only challenged with productivity but are also required to have a certain elegance. It sounds silly, I know, but there is undeniably a grace with which you must leave an activity on which all of your attention was focused, in order to deal with new, urgent tasks. You have to juggle, to an extent that I never would have never thought necessary.
Public Relations (and Fusion in particular) requires stream-lined organization. Alternative Title: The First Time I Saw a PR Tracker, I Almost Cried with Joy
As someone with a strongly Type A personality, I immediately appreciated the amazing organization of Fusion. On my first day, I sat in account briefings thinking “How can one small agency serve clients as different from one another such as our mobile gaming client versus our ad technology client?”. The answer, I soon discovered could be found in the meticulous records, all-inclusive calendar, and constant communication style of Fusion. Its strategies and processes allow account team members to successfully execute their tasks over many accounts, two offices, and at least three time zones. Because of these systems, and the constant vigilance of the team, no account is ever neglected, nor does the productivity of Fusion suffer.
Tech is Topical, It’s Real Life
I was initially interested in this internship because of the work environment that it offered; small, collaborative, and a place where I could get hands-on experience. Five weeks into my time here, and I have not been disappointed. I’ve gotten to use what I learn in my classes in a real world situation. My research projects here at Fusion have made the running of a PR account at the USC School of Cinematic Arts much easier–media list creation and pitching don’t intimidate me any more. I also understand the rapidness of the PR world and that time is almost always of the essence.
What surprised me about my internship with Fusion is how quickly the tech industry captured my interest. The tech world was a place hitherto unknown to me, so this internship has provided me–along with an introduction to the active PR world–an initiation into the world of high technology. The work I’ve done here has shown me its relevance and undeniable importance.
Though not traditionally considered the most glamorous field in PR, I challenge anyone to find a more inclusive one. Everyone interacts with tech in one way or another, making endless our target audiences at Fusion. This industry develops at an unprecedented rate. I am, and have only ever been, a student, and this whole new world offers me the opportunity to keep learning. There are always new products and services, always new niche markets that spring up. It’s undulating and every growing, and I find it completely fascinating. I can’t wait to continue!