Monday, May 4, 2015

My CPC Intern Experience

The experience and lessons that I've learned from the staff at C. Pharr and Company ink (CPC) are ones that will be applicable to wherever I go next. This was my first public relations internship, and I had no prior background in public relations before this job besides several classes I took at UT Arlington. I have studied specific campaigns and how to write public relations materials such as press releases, media advisories and fact sheets, but I quickly learned I needed more practice in order to hone my writing skills. 

On my first day at CPC, I went on a client meeting with Kathrine to Real Estate Tax Consultants (RETC). Going into the meeting I had no clue who the client was or what they did, but learned very quickly that RETC is a company that helps building owners lower their taxes by making changes internally. I felt that attending this client meeting on my first day was a very good way for me to jump into my internship. When I first thought of public relations, I thought about business to consumer, but I learned very quickly that public relations can also help businesses benefit from other businesses. Going to this client meeting on my first day helped me understand that I would be getting hands on experience with clients very quickly. 

After having my one-on-one meetings with all of the staff at CPC, I gained the knowledge about the career paths that public relations can lead towards. I also learned that a big part of finding public relations jobs is having different connections. Pitching to reporters is also a key component of the industry. Knowing and making connections with reporters is important if you'd like to get an article published about your client. Being able to correctly write a press release, or deliver a pitch to a reporter over the phone about a client is vital when trying to secure attention. 

Another important part of my internship was being able to participate in the PRSA Dallas Pro-Am day. During this event, I shadowed Mr. Cook who is the Assistant Vice President of Global Media Relations for AT&T. It was interesting for me to see the difference between a large corporation that has their own in-house public relations department and an agency like C. Pharr. They started the morning off with a meeting where they called different AT&T markets around the United States and got up to speed up on what was being said about AT&T on different social media platforms. They even had a large screen that monitored what people were saying, whether it was good or bad and also what people were saying about their competition.  

Some people say that if you are going to a job that feels like you are doing actual work, then you are not in the right profession; at CPC I feel as if I'm engaging with a team that is giving me invaluable information to better prepare me for my career and fascination with public relations. All in all, with the skills that I've gained working at CPC, I know that I will be able to fit into the industry without any hesitation.

This post was contributed by Mark Bullock II, CPC Spring Intern.


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