intern

Tips From a Curator Intern

Four months ago I came to Curator as a curious college student, eager to learn more about the world of public relations. Today, I am still a curious college student, but I am 100% more knowledgeable about the PR profession and all of the duties that come with the job.  I have learned essential skills during my time here, including compiling media lists, drafting press releases and creating coverage reports.  In addition, I discovered several small things important for being a successful PR intern that I’d like to share with anyone looking to take this step in their own career.

Review, Review, Review: You can never check over your work enough! It’s easy to make mistakes after working on projects for long periods of time, so it’s good to get into the habit of constantly reviewing your work and asking others to look over those assignments as well. 

Attention to Detail: Always pay attention to detail; even the smallest things can make a huge difference. As an intern especially, you should be careful of typos and grammatical errors to ensure all client documents are up to par.

Ask Questions: Interns can never really ask enough questions. There were plenty of times where I was unsure about tasks and the simplest thing to do was just to ask. It’s better to clarify any uncertainties rather than complete projects inaccurately. It’s also beneficial to dig into the different agency job positions by asking about the various accounts. This will help you better understand the exciting world of agency public relations.

Be Proactive: Take the initiative to communicate with team members to see if they need support with tasks. I found that being proactive and “checking-in” with others was the best way to stay busy and plus, it’s a great chance to show your capabilities and interest in the work.

Prioritizing: A big part of agency public relations is about keeping the clients happy and fulfilling their needs. Recognizing this means that you have to manage your time wisely to ensure that high priority client documents are completed efficiently and on time. At times, urgent events will come up unexpectedly, causing you to re-prioritize your projects. It’s important to be prepared to take on these unanticipated tasks.  

Social Media Rocks: At Curator, social media channels are constantly being used to engage with the public. While I was here, the Curator team created an entire social media campaign revolving around Chris Hansen and the Sonics Arena.  The campaign utilized Instagram to populate the Thank You Chris Hansen website by pulling in pictures of people thanking Chris Hansen, who shared their photos with the hashtag  #ThanksChrisHansen. The site generated a lot of excitement for Sonics fans and helped demonstrate the community’s gratitude. This campaign made me realize the significant influence of social media on the public and showed me how it can connect a community.

Today marks the last day of my internship at Curator and It’s been an exciting journey of ups and downs, with the only true “down” being the loss of our office pet fish (R.I.P. Cujo and Petunia).  I will miss everything from the creative people, to the morning coffee breaks and the Friday afternoon happy hours. Curator is an agency that knows how to balance hard work with fun and never fails to make time for a celebration or good laugh. I cannot begin to describe how thankful I am for the experience and I can honestly say that I am more skilled and prepared to continue with my professional endeavors. Thank you SO much, Curator! -- Johanna

Dog Parties, Vodka, and a Mischievous Gemsbock

Megan Kamitsuka is a senior at the Missouri School of Journalism majoring in strategic communication and has been interning at Curator PR this summer.

 

As the intern for Curator PR, I am doing things I honestly never imagined. No one told me I’d get to plan dog parties and bottle premium vodka all in a week’s time. Here’s a snapshot of intern life at Curator HQ.

In one project, I assisted with a client’s picnic at Washington Arboretum, dedicated to the importance of pollinators, where I mingled with a variety of food and healthy living bloggers. I enjoyed meeting the faces behind the blogs I had been perusing for recipes and tricks of the trade, and the chance to take a trip and interact with some of the influencers in that sphere.

Then, for another client, I orchestrated the planning process for large-scale dog parties across the nation, no holds barred: dog trampolines, canine cakes, and Fido Olympics were all definitely in question.  I called iconic parks around the US and discussed how to make the idea tangible. It was like piecing together a puzzle, and I am excited for the outcome of this initiative. I also got tapped for help on the same client’s Pinterest account. Pinning cute dog pictures? Yeah, I think I can handle that. Since our first two weeks of the account’s launch, we have more than tripled our followers.

In another loyalty program project for a different client, I learned to get more in touch with an industry that has emerged seemingly overnight and has kept itself relevant largely through their big personalities and social media—Seattle’s food trucks. From menacing steel pig-shaped vans slinging pulled pork sliders, (@somepigseattle) to a myriad of gourmet flavor combinations on a paper plate (@curb_cuisine), the trucks tweet their locations and give shout-outs to customers, a simple method that has evidently worked wonders.

Then, I helped bottle limited edition cases of artisan vodka at our client’s distillery—a handy skill to have. The following night was the elegant Gatsby-themed launch party, which was filled with extravagance and surprises (read: a fire-spouting, balancing tuba act to cap off the night). I have been tracking coverage of the new product and the distillery ever since and it is exciting to witness the speed at which the brand is taking off.

At the core of it all, the glue that bonds Curator together is our unique office culture. We have our mascot Gem, the unassuming yet mischievous gemsbok wall adornment who wears a neck full of Mardi Gras beads; Friday happy hours in our kitchen bar; and morning coffee huddles where we talk shop and poke fun at one another about anything and everything. I have come to the conclusion that the team knows how to balance work with play—that’s what keeps our inspiration and motivation going.

The aforementioned projects are just a taste of what I’ve done here (I also assembled my own office furniture on my first day with some kind-hearted helpers). Along the way, I’m learning what it's really like to work in this industry, something invaluable for a senior before college graduation. I am quickly gaining the know-how to navigate the complex waters of social media and branding, to effectively promote events across the spectrum, to garner coverage and to assemble in-depth media lists, and to better connect brands with consumers. I love being surrounded by so many creative minds.