When I was in college, one of my professors gave me this advice and it actually got me my first PR internship.
Research your dream team
Go online and look at people in PR you admire or companies you want to work at and find their emails. We didn’t have LinkedIn back when I was in college so it was a little harder to do the research, but now with social media it is pretty easy to find people and their information. If you can’t find someone’s email, call the company and ask for their email.
Offer an offline invitation
Use the subject line “you were once a college student too.” This subject line also works if you say “college graduate.” This line is unique and relatable, so your chances are high they will open it. Keep the email short and sweet – less than a paragraph. Say who you are, why you admire them (nothing cheesy, do some research), and ask if you can take them for coffee (pick somewhere near their office and convenient for them) to ask them a few questions. Arrive early to your appointment and come dressed nicely. Not trendy, nicely. Think of this as an informal interview so dress the part.
Offer to pay for coffee or lunch. If they fight you for it, let them pay, but make a real effort to try without offending them.
Save this question for last
When you sit down have 7-10 questions ready. You can even have them written down. They can be anything from “what got you interested in PR” to “what was your favorite campaign,” but your last question should be “what internships or jobs do you have available?” Don’t say anything afterward. Say it just like any other question. Odds are if they don’t offer you something on the spot, they will refer you to HR or at the very least keep you on the top of their mind for any upcoming positions they hear about in the near future.
In order to get a fabulous PR internship, you need to do more to stand out than just having an updated resume. You need to show that you are committed and you want to be in this field. Making yourself relatable and taking that extra effort will make all the difference in the world. Step away from behind your computer screen and start making connections with this easy to follow process, and you’ll be well on your way!
Photo Credit: Wis Empire State