By Avni Gupta, Intern
Picture this: a recent college graduate with a passion for storytelling and flair for writing searching for a job amid a global pandemic. Sounds nothing less than crazy, right?
Enter me: an intern at The Hoffman Agency, ready to dive deep into the world of media relations and social media for AI, robotics and semiconductors. Though an agency novice, I was as excited as I was nervous when I first became a Hoffmanite, and after three months here, I can attest that my experience delivered on both counts.
Now let’s get to the story. My days started with conducting media monitoring, scanning Google alerts and going through HAROs and ProfNets to flag anything relevant in the news to my team members. The day usually led into drafting social content for semiconductors, searching for social fodder and ended with polishing up the day’s work to share with the client. But that doesn’t sound very thrilling, does it? Where was the drama?
The internship certainly brought teething troubles. The learning curve was more challenging than I had anticipated and working from home did not make things easier. Media relations was a completely new realm of PR for me, and finding the levity in semiconductors wasn’t always a cakewalk either.
Meet the villain of this story: media lists. Researching and building media lists was probably one of the hardest tasks I’ve had to conquer in the past three months. The toughest day on the job was when I completely missed the mark on a media list. Getting a redo on the assignment was not the feedback I wanted, but as they say, this is how you learn. My manager, Mikaela, always reminds me — when it gets overwhelming, step away from your desk, take a walk, compose yourself, come back and see it to the finish line. This advice has gotten me though all difficult chapters of this internship, and I am happy to report that media lists and I are quite well acquainted now. Media lists are like the friend I did not like when we first met, but now I consider them a best friend (OK, maybe not best friend).
So, was there a payoff? Absolutely! I have learnt more about critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication in the last three months than I did in three years of college. Connecting with the other interns and having weekly virtual meetings was the highlight of the internship, where TikTok trends and end of month reports were given equal importance. It gave me a sense of community and solidarity — that I had people, who like me, were trying to find their way through this internship.
If I had to give one piece of advice to someone just starting out a career in PR, I would quote our CEO, Lou Hoffman, “Be brave!” Not hard at all, is it?