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Four Months Later: The Hoffman Internship in Review

By Hannah Harding, Account Coordinator

Hannah Harding and Jessica Fahner

Mama, we made it!

It’s incredibly hard to believe that almost four months have passed since I first set (digital) foot at the agency, thrilled to be a part of the industry and unaware of the invaluable practice, collaboration and exposure to creativity I would gain throughout this experience.

From drafting awards submissions and social copy to mastering the art of logging hours and inbox sanity, my time here has been a total shift in perspective on the impact I can have in PR. Recalling how little I truly understood about the day-to-days of agency life not long ago — contrasted with my current confidence — the difference is night and day.

But boy, did we work to get here. For my past self and those looking to enter the world of tech PR, I give to you some unsolicited advice.

Buckle up and grab your notebook.

Everyone’s heard it before, but the daily pace of PR is faster and far different than any other industry. It was a big adjustment going from no agency experience to being full-time on four client accounts, each with a significant role and its own learning obstacles.

However, there is a level of trust that comes with being allowed to figure it out for yourself and ask the right questions. Though I sometimes felt totally lost or uncertain, there was always a teammate, mentor or manager I could consult for a gut check who’d been in that situation before. It forced me to take great notes and overcome my bad habit of perfectionism and overthinking while growing my attention to detail and teaching me to trust the internal review process.

A lack of micromanagement is a sign of trust — not neglect.

While at first these projects felt over my head and based on a lot of context I wasn’t familiar with yet, I never felt useless; there was always space to help a teammate or go above and beyond by bringing a new idea or information to the table.

Managers don’t always have the time to explain everything they ask of you — in fact, in PR, they rarely do. This was tough for me to understand at first, but once I did, I realized how much creativity and flexibility it allows employees at all levels. Offering to take the first swing at something, even if you need to ask questions, benefits your learning experience, shows leaders you’re doing your part and lightens the workloads of your team members. Win-win!

Workiva gear

You will get out what you put in.

Given this flexibility at Hoffman, there are myriad opportunities to bring good ideas to the table and create a name and portfolio for yourself. Leadership is receptive to a fresh perspective and will often give you the chance to delve in and lead a team conversation.

One of the greatest joys of the experience has been watching and helping my incredible teammates prepare for big events and announcements. First up was the Supercomputing 2021 Conference with Supermicro. I oversaw tasks from tracking down press lists and conducting outreach to securing and prepping documents for multiple briefings at the booth with the new European Vice President.

Then it was the New York Stock Exchange’s CFO Roundtable featuring Workiva, where our team conducted heavy outreach, secured and prepped for briefings and podcast opportunities, and pivoted seamlessly when the event was moved online during the Omicron surge. I’ve gotten the chance to write social copy content on Nextiva that will actually see the light of day and drafted proactive storyline ideas for internal leadership at NextFlex.

Pinch yourself, you’re in PR!

Lastly, appreciate the little “I can’t believe I’m here!” moments. Making it to the industry — let alone with such a special agency — is a feat. Take a second while you’re drafting that pitch, replying to a journalist or reporting media engagements to a client to remember: you’re really doing it.

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