PR internship – on the other end of the line

Before starting my internship at Purplefish, I was in a limbo of having the right work experience and the wrong work experience.

One of my previous roles was to pick up the phone to the PR agencies who wanted to sell their stories. I definitely did not appreciate the power a journalist has in these conversations. It was a daunting prospect calling publications – after all it’s one thing being rejected via email and another thing slipping up in front of your new colleagues.

When I began a month ago, I didn’t expect that one of the most valuable lessons I’d learn would be resilience. My (very wrong) perception of PR wasn’t that to succeed you need confidence and determination, but these are the qualities this internship has encouraged me to develop.

From only having a small taste of what journalism is about, it’s been intriguing to see the journey content goes on before being published. I received a zillion press releases in my inbox at my last job without much, if any, recognition of where it came from.

It’s rewarding to go from a simple brief to producing a tangible piece to pitch out. And it’s not been all press releases; the range of tasks I’ve been given far exceeded my expectations of what I assumed this month would entail.


PR isn’t plain sailing

Even coming from a writer’s background, my tasks at Purplefish haven’t all been breezy. My time here has also shifted my perception of what an internship is. I was made to feel like a worthwhile contributor throughout this month, which comes with its own pressures of course, but it’s undoubtedly been a positive learning curve.

It sounds cliché, but everyday has come with different tasks and different challenges – I had no idea how versatile the job would be. Due to the range of clients Purplefish has, every social media strategy, blog post and pitch was unique thus requiring an appropriate tone, relevant content and a new approach from myself.

This challenge was welcomed and made manageable thanks to how willing everyone around me was to share their knowledge.

I’ve been able to test the waters of a plethora of tasks Purplefish tackles daily on this boat, which has given me invaluable experience into the life of PR.


Opportunities to grow

It’s been great to work with a company who are so open minded and promote creativity.

Sometimes it can feel as if your ideas have dried up and you could not possibly dream up another unique tweet but being surrounded by creative people who also understand business has made me realise creativity isn’t set in stone – it’s a skill to be nourished with hard work and practice.

I’m ending my internship with Purplefish with a new mindset towards PR than what I started with. I certainly didn’t expect to be producing so much content whilst also developing a whole new range of skills that will be staying with me.

I’d encourage any student to take up the opportunity of doing an internship – especially if they get the chance to do it at Purplefish!

Thanks for the experience guys!

Shona Wright