Carter Boardman turned a class assignment into a fashion PR internship. Learn how she did it below:
I grew up in Augusta, Georgia and moved to Charleston, South Carolina to attend the College of Charleston. I am a Corporate and Organizational Communication major and a Spanish minor. After taking a public relations class I realized it was something I would really love doing and possibly be something I was good at. I have always been interested in fashion, which is where my interest in fashion PR grew.
Why Fashion PR?
I have always known I wanted to do something in the fashion industry, but really had no idea in what area. My sophomore year I became a co-editor of a blog, The Campus Style, LLC. Charleston, and started to learn the power of blogging and social media in the fashion industry. I also loved promoting different events, people, and just creating buzz surrounding fashion related topics. I decided that Fashion PR could be the perfect fit for me and wanted to become involved in Fashion PR somehow to see if I was right. Immediately after I started interning for Circa PR I fell in love with Fashion PR.
How did you land your internship/job position?
In one of my public relations classes I had to interview the founder of a public relations firm for an essay. I knew Circa PR specialized in fashion and retail, which I am very interested in, so Katie Kern was the perfect fit. After the interview I was very interested in an internship with Circa PR and asked Katie if she ever needed an intern to contact me. Luckily, she did and here I am!
What are your responsibilities? What is an example of a typical day in the office?
My responsibilities include social media management, media log updates, writing press releases, event coordination, trend reporting, and keeping up with current promotions, events, and other activity for Circa PR clients. Most of my daily task are done from my computer and constant throughout the day. On a typical day, I wake up, manage client Twitter and Facebook accounts before my classes, then after my classes work on various tasks I have to complete that week.
What is exciting about your internship?
One of the most exciting parts of my internship is being an active part of our clients PR efforts. I am not just watching from the sidelines, Katie allows and encourages me to be proactive and get involved in the decision making process. With any internship there is the assumption that most of what you will be doing are miscellaneous tasks, but Katie is ensuring that after interning for her I will be prepared to tackle any aspect of Fashion PR. I am extremely lucky to have the opportunity to be directly involved in Circa PR’s decision making. After putting forth all possible efforts to make a project successful, it is so rewarding to see it actually come to life. Truly, what is more rewarding is hearing and reading the positive feedback from the events in the press. It is exciting to know that I was a part of this success.
What challenges are attached to your job? What aspects of the job requirements were a surprise to you?
Aside from balancing a full course load in college and an internship, some of the challenges I have faced are the companies’ processes and procedures. There is an effective way to tweet, there is a correct way to write and submit a press release and there is so much more to planning a successful event than just having the right people show up. What is taught in a classroom setting does not always translate to the real world.
I was really surprised by the different techniques that go into executing a successful social media campaign. When I was told I would be tweeting for various clients, I thought that would be one of the easiest parts of my internship. Well, I quickly learned that I was wrong. Each tweet must be submitted at a certain time, use certain hash marks and mentions, and always be relevant. Aside for the actual tweeting there is also finding the content and what to tweet about.
What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?
The Fashion Group International(R) recently launched in Charleston, South Carolina. Circa PR founder Katie Kern is the public relations director and we are responsible for all of the organizations PR efforts. The launch event featured the “Best of Shows Spring/Summer 2011 R-T-W Collections Trend Overview” video presentation, edited by award-winning editor of The International Fashion Syndicate, Mary Lou Luther. We really got the word out to industry professionals from the worlds of fashion, retail, beauty and home. The buzz created around this event ultimately resulted in a sold out crowd and every media outlet in the city was in attendance.
In a few words, how would you summarize your agency?
Circa PR is a fashion PR firm that never settles for anything but the best. It uses a creative and detailed approach to tackle its client’s communication challenges. Circa PR determines the best approach to promote its clients to their target audience. I’m constantly being told, “Stick with Katie Kern, she knows what she is doing and she knows how to effectively do it.”