Marlin PR
Interns Edit

One year on, PR lessons from Intern Class of 2019

Last year, we took on three fantastic interns as permanent staff following our summer internship programme. Nearly one year on, we asked them to tell us what they have learnt since first walking through our doors. Here’s what they said.

A reminder that you can apply for this year’s Summer internship now. All the details are here: https://marlinpr.com/blog/marlin-2020-internship-applications-are-open

Charlie Kahn, Account Executive:

"The learning curve for PR can be quite steep, especially for those new to the industry. The Account Executive role is extremely varied and requires a broad range of skill sets that may be quite new. On a day-to-day basis you could be doing anything from phone pitching, to writing blogs, or speaking with clients. While this may sound daunting, these are skills you’ll quickly pick up. You’ll quickly find what your strengths are and what you find harder. For instance, I found that writing content was a strength while phone pitching and wider admin skills were more of a struggle. Fortunately, Marlin is attuned to your individual strengths and adjusts accordingly. I found that I was allowed to work on tasks where my writing skills could be put to use while also getting additional support and training on phone pitching. Often the best way to improve was to simply see more experienced members of the team doing it and speaking with them afterwards to get their advice. After a few conversations, and a bit of practical advice, I found I was rapidly improving in areas that I’d been struggling with.

Only having experience in part time work, I’d had concerns that moving into full-time employment would present some challenges. That being said, Marlin work culture is accommodating and easy to acclimatise to. I had expected a lot of rigidity in the working structure of a ‘9 to 5’ but Marlin has been more than willing to offer me the flexibility I’ve needed.

Returning to part-time studying at university, Marlin has been extremely supportive in creating a timetable that works for us both. While I prefer to work in the office myself, the option to work from home is another example of the flexible work culture at Marlin. Most surprising for me is how a lot of the skills I’ve gained during my first year at Marlin have fed into my studies. Less overt abilities I’ve picked up during my time here, like time management, multi tasking, and note taking, have been helpful.”

Ralitsa Petrova, Account Executive:

“When I tell people that I work in PR, I’m often met with blank stares and a comment about how it’s the same as marketing. Whilst I may not have quite learned how to answer their reactions with anything better than a snapshot such as ‘ it involves speaking to journalists to land interesting stories about our clients and we plan amazing events’, it’s undeniable that the skills I have gained will stay with me throughout my career.

The key roles of an Account Executive (the position you will be getting a flavour of during your internship) are extremely varied, and likely to be activities which you may not have come across before if you haven’t worked in the industry. For example, pitching media, writing content for specific technology verticals, or speaking with corporate clients are all things that can often seem daunting at first. Well, do not fear — the team spirit and support you will get at Marlin will help you gain the confidence to quickly feel like these tasks are second nature. For me, I found talking to media difficult at first, and would get nervous when having to pitch on the phone. However, sitting in ‘war rooms’ with fellow colleagues and knuckling down together to push a big client story helped me to come out of my shell, and realise that everyone has their own way of pitching (and that I wasn’t the only one with a phone voice).

Another way which Marlin culture differs from other work environments I have experienced is their commitment to development. Every eight weeks, we have Huddle meetings with other colleagues in the same roles as us, where we can talk about highlights and lowlights, and what goals we want to achieve in our careers. This, coupled with the regular and transparent feedback that is available to you if you ask for it, has accelerated my learning and growth in my role massively. Being open and talking about development is a crucial skill needed in any job, and will help you to hone your strengths and weaknesses, allowing you to progress.

It is difficult to outline all of the skills I have learned in my first year of PR, because there have been so many. Apart from the improvement to my communication and content writing skills, I have gained an industry knowledge of media and the technology landscape, as well as the confidence to take control of my development and put my progression on the front line.”

Im Hazelton, Account Executive:

“I can admit that going into the internship, my knowledge about PR was limited but this quickly changed as I was thrown into tasks from day one. I always knew that it was a value-adding industry but it was a nice surprise to learn how much of a partnership a PR agency has with clients and how impactful PR-driven campaigns are for the wider business. My previous work experience was in-house so I quickly learnt the fast-paced environment of an agency. Admittedly, it was quite the adjustment but the teamship at Marlin is unmatched - I’ve felt supported and empowered throughout has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve experienced in my first year.

Every day in PR is different, it’s all about having a solid game plan but being able to be agile and creative when the unexpected happens with clients and in the news agenda. As an Account Executive, it could be said that we’re at the frontline of all the action - from pitching to media and writing content to brainstorming ideas, I’ve learnt a lot about my strengths and most importantly where I have the opportunity to grow and improve. Marlin prides itself on crafting compelling content which was daunting at first but the training I’ve had has built my confidence and writing is a valuable skill that will benefit me for the rest of my career. Media relations is another essential part of PR, this involves building a strong network and rapport with journalists. Coming fresh out of university, I had little experience with this sort of interaction but the best lesson I learnt was that ‘everyone is just human’ so it makes pitching a lot easier. Just a couple of months in and it’s now one of my favourite and most rewarding aspects about the job for me.

I could go onto list the ample things I’ve learnt throughout my first year but in just one year, I’m surprised how much I have progressed from being a student to working with innovative tech giants. The role has been both challenging and rewarding, Marlin has given me room opportunities to grow and encouraged me to go outside my comfort zone. I’ve built the confidence and developed skills that will carry me throughout my career.”

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Date Published

April 03, 2020

Category

Internships

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