An Intern Perspective

Just a few months ago, I thought a PR person was the stereotypical short-blonde-go-getter-party-thrower. It was easy to confuse publicist with public relations and assume any publicity was good publicity.

Despite those negative stereotypes, I decided to intern at a top PR firm this summer – DKC. And with the summer coming to an end, all prior misconceptions have been thrown out the window. I am finishing my internship at DKC and I am hungry for more.

One of the reasons I decided to intern at DKC was my curiosity and desire to learn and work at an innovative firm. My past internships have ranged from translating Hebrew Holocaust survivor testimony at the Museum of Jewish Heritage to editing and updating programming at the Center of Women and Enterprise. Though they range in industry and field, the internships were challenging and demanded my commitment and creativity. DKC is no different.

I have sat in on several new client meetings and pitch presentations, several brainstorming sessions, and helped with a press conference for the launch of Climate Week NYC headlined by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

As technology continues to evolve, today’s media requires more attention. A key point that I’ve learned in my time here has been that firms can’t ignore bloggers, Twitterers, Facebook users, and rely solely on traditional media to market their products and services. PR is vital in navigating through the onslaught of communication outlets.

One of the tasks I have, as other interns can attest, is to compile media lists. For example, I searched through green bloggers and reporters to find appropriate contacts to pitch the USTA’s major green initiative at this year’s US Open. While the task is not as grand as attending the Open, I know I am a part of one of the most basic – yet important – details of a successful campaign. And I gained a better understanding of just how significant it is to connect clients to consumers.

In my mind, PR is no longer exemplified by a publicist trailing Lindsay Lohan’s escapades, but a powerhouse who networks, pitches stories, and navigates media coverage.

And while I may not be blonde, I have learned that PR holds a place for me.

Intern – Aviya Slutzky, Tufts University, Class of 2010