Friday, January 13, 2017

Reflections on an Agency Internship in PR

I want to describe my first day at C. Pharr, but after a year and a half, I really only remember smiles, quick introductions and immediately getting to work. My internship began on August 27, 2015, and over the course of four semesters, I am so fortunate to say I have seen many aspects of public relations that helped me learn far more than I would in a classroom. I was able to work hands on with different projects for real clients and further my career along the way.

From the beginning of my internship, my supervisors handed over many writing assignments. I'll be the first to say writing is far from a strong skill of mine, but I've learned being honest with your skill set can only help you improve. I put forth strong effort in many of my writing assignments and got out of my comfort zone to work on my weakness. Although I am still far from perfect, I can confidently say practice has helped me improve significantly and led to success both in school and at my internship.

At the end of my first semester with C. Pharr, I was given an assignment to pitch a story about a local teacher at Trinity Christian Academy (TCA), one of the clients I worked with often. I researched who I wanted to pitch the story to and ended up coming across Jenny Anchondo with Fox 4 news. Even though she didn't pick up the story, she had a connection to the teacher through both of them being involved in the KIPP literacy program. She sent the pitch on to her colleagues, and after our winter break in the office, I came back to the exciting news that Clarice Tinsley wanted to cover the heartwarming story on the "Hometown Heroes” segment. You can see the coverage and read more about my experience here.

In the summer of 2016, I was asked to participate in planning an event for a non-profit client, Primary Care Clinics of North Texas. Event planning is a little bit more complicated than they make it seem in the movies, and the work involved more than what was taught in the classroom. I learned event planning requires a lot of detailed planning and I was able to plan ahead by creating a checklist of everything we would need before, during and after the event. It was a great experience and I’m confident I’ll be able to plan my next event with more ease.

As my last semester is coming to an end, I'm proud of all the work I’ve accomplished thanks to my dedicated supervisors I've had over the past four semesters at C. Pharr. I was able to gain a broad range of experience and gain a greater understanding of the diverse industries our clients are in – everything from education to non-profits, commercial real estate and even corporations. Some people decide to have multiple internships, but I think I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this agency to offer the experience necessary to begin a successful career in public relations.

This post was contributed by Elizabeth LaMonte, C. Pharr Intern.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

'Tis the Season of Giving

It's that time of year again! Everyone is drinking EggNog, playing Christmas music, hosting holiday parties and finding ways to spread holiday cheer. During the Christmas season many people are reminded of how much they have to be grateful for and take the extra effort to provide for those less fortunate. Working at C.Pharr this semester, I have been very fortunate to see our clients extend this generosity not just through the holiday season but all year long. Below I've listed a few of my favorites I’ve gotten to be a part of in a small way through writing press releases, photo announcements and event support. Each of these respected companies have demonstrated leadership by taking an active role in their communities.

McCarthy Building Companies Inc. Enacted Their Heart Hats Team.
McCarthy employees and their families participated in the American Heart Association's 2016 Heart Walk. The event helped raise funds to save lives from cardiovascular disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 cause of death in the U.S., and promoted physical activity and heart-healthy living.

Trinity Christian Academy Engaged Students in the Democratic Process.
TCA's senior government students volunteered to work the election polls. Many of these students were first-time voters. TCA knows that teaching youth about the importance of voting increases the likelihood they will vote now and in the future.

ZAK Backs the Blue in Support of DPD's Fallen Officers.

ZAK Products hosted a fundraiser and unveiling of its No. 83 Toyota Camry that honored the fallen officers from the July 7th tragedy. Many came to the unveiling to see the car, take pictures, and help raise money for families of the fallen officers through the Assist the Officer Foundation. The “police car” raced later that week at NASCAR's AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Riveron Consulting Spreads a Day of Giving Throughout the Nation. 
Each of the Riveron Consulting offices chose a community partner to work with in giving back to their community. The Denver office partnered with Tennyson Center for Children helping those affected by abuse. The D.C. office cleaned up a vital community garden with the United Way. The Minneapolis office worked with BestPrep to help students prepare interviews and resumes to get jobs, and the Dallas, Houston, and Atlanta offices each worked with Habitat for Humanity preparing homes for those in need.

We are so honored to work with such exceptional companies! Their efforts are truly making an impact on our community and help inspire our own giving efforts at the office. C.Pharr seeks volunteer opportunities throughout the year, and this Christmas we are excited to partner with Restored Hope Ministries, a safe house for women out of sex-trafficking. This week our team gathered around the conference room for coffee and treats, while we took time to write encouraging notes to the women and collect goodies for their donation closet.

Now, it's your turn! What are you going to do this holiday season and even into next year to put your positive mark on our community? Let us know in the comment section below and have a very merry Christmas and happy holidays!

This post was contributed by Krystal Smith, C. Pharr Intern.