By: Carey McLaughlin
There’s only one way to become a better writer: practice, practice and more practice. When I applied to intern at La Torre Communications, I considered my writing skills to be pretty strong. I had a decent knowledge of AP style, I felt comfortable drafting social media posts, and I was confident in my voice. Now when I look back and compare my writing samples from my application to my writing at La Torre, I see a world’s difference. I was given the opportunity to write every day at La Torre, and it has paid off.
No two days are ever the same in PR, and that’s why I love this industry. I can honestly say every day at La Torre was exciting, because my job was different each time I came to work. One day I’d be writing a press release announcing an organization’s new president, and the next I’d be taking photos at an event for social media. I had to learn to not only adjust to the flexibility of the job, but embrace it like all PR professionals do.
A creative mind is vital for a PR student to have. If you can think outside the box, your ideas can stand out. During my time with La Torre, I was given the opportunity to be creative in my work. Whether it was creating a hashtag for a new social media campaign or designing a series of posters for a client’s golf tournament, I had the freedom to use my imagination and practice my graphic design skills. At times it was hard to brainstorm a fresh idea, but over the course of the summer I developed into a more innovative PR thinker.
Being knowledgeable about a client’s business and their field is a key component of public relations. You cannot produce your best work if you don’t understand what you are writing about or who you are representing. La Torre represents a vast array of clients from all different industries. It was important for me to better understand the clients, so I could accurately portray their organization’s values in my work. At La Torre, I also was taught how to use programs such as Meltwater and Facebook Analytics, which allowed me to dig deeper in my research. I didn’t become an expert in every client’s field, but I became an expert researcher, and knew where and how to find the necessary information.
My dad always tells me, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” and during my time at La Torre I experienced that first hand. Connections are crucial; your network can lead you to new career opportunities and new clients, and provide you with advice and assistance along the way. Over the summer I had the opportunity to attend Pennsylvania Public Relations Society and Chamber Business Women meetings and workshops with Jill. I was able to talk with local PR practitioners, listen to Harrisburg business leaders’ insights, and connect with others who are at the career point I hope to one day achieve.
My summer working at La Torre Communications has been nothing short of incredible. I’ve learned more than I ever could have imagined, I’ve grown my professional portfolio, and I’ve experienced a taste of the career I hope to have after graduation. Working in PR has always been my goal, but in the past I have questioned if it is the right path for me. After this summer, it’s safe to say that my internship experience at La Torre has solidified my choice in public relations.