Getting IN: Life as a Fashion PR Intern at White Book Agency in Tampa, FL


Written By:

Guest Author


Image Credit:

Maggie Philbin credits her fashion PR internship at  White Book to standing out and making an impression during her volunteer position at Tampa Bay Fashion Week. This college student has seemed to master the art of balancing school, a full-time job, and an internship because she believe that to “to be successful later I need to work really hard now.” Being organized and managing time has been at the top of her to-do list after quickly finding out that fashion PR is “a business that never sleeps!”

What is your background?

Having spent my entire life in Connecticut, I knew that after high school I wanted to continue my education in a different state. Originally, I attended a local community college in Florida and majored in Education. However, after visiting Tampa on a mini-vacation, I knew that the city had way more to offer me. As soon as I got back home, I applied to the University of South Florida, and started school that next semester. Tampa’s culture and emerging fashion scene ultimately persuaded me to change my focus from education to mass communication with an emphasis in public relations.

Why Fashion PR

Having loved fashion and business for most of my life, I knew that working in fashion public relations would be the best fit. During my junior year of college, I volunteered at our city’s fashion week and had the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with some pretty fabulous designers and models. I was in love!

How did you land your internship?

During my time volunteering at Tampa Bay Fashion Week I worked really hard to impress Nancy from White Book Agency, and my efforts definitely paid off. The following week she phoned me and asked if I wanted to meet for an interview, and here I am ~ a WBA intern!

What is a typical day in the office?

Since I work remotely, the first thing that I do is hop in front of the computer to check my email. I jot down everything that I need to do for the day/week, and then read-up on some industry-related news. My supervisor has instilled in me the importance of being aware of new trends and topics that are going on in our field, so I always dedicate time to reading and absorbing everything that is going on. I then reach out to my boss via phone, and she updates me about what is going on with clients for the day and what tasks we need to accomplish. I then get busy doing work for my internship, sneak out for a couple hours to go to class, and then come back home to finish any outstanding tasks. Even though I am remote, we always stay connected through phone and email. If it weren’t for our smart phones, I don’t know how we’d do it!

What are your responsibilities?

I am responsible for updating our firm’s social media page, writing for our weekly blog, reaching out to different media outlets and researching various trends. Since I’m quite in-tune with the news, posting to our firm’s Facebook page and writing our weekly blog is enjoyable. New ideas and concepts are always coming my way, so I love to share them with our Facebook fans and blog readers.

What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?

One of our clients is a fashion sports brand. In an effort to garner her new clients, we reached out to several National Football League cheerleading squads. We received positive feedback from several NFL teams, and we were ultimately invited to the 2011 NFL Directors’ Convention in Miami, Florida. Our client is currently putting together sample sizes and storyboards for various NFL squads including the Dallas Cowboys, San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins and the New Orleans Saints.

Since White Book represents a variety of clients, I’ve also had the opportunity to work on an industry expert account where I created pitches and contacted media outlets from Miami to New York. Our team was able to secure placement out of market and really extend our client’s brand.

What challenges are attached to your job?

Balancing school, a full-time job and internship often presents itself with some challenges. Even so, I know that if I want to be successful later I need to work really hard now. I’ve learned that keeping to an orderly schedule and allocating my time efficiently works best if I want to finish everything before deadline.

What aspects of the job requirements were a surprise to you?

During my first week as an intern, Nancy (owner) told me that this won’t be a “9-5 job” and boy was she right. I quickly learned that I’d be working with professionals in different time zones, that clients need help at all hours of the day, and that basically the business never sleeps!

In a few words, how would you describe your agency?

White Book Agency is an innovative and dynamic boutique public relations, advertising and marketing firm. It has professional and creative minds behind it, so it’s always able to tackle all of its client’s requests and challenges. White Book Agency is passionate about helping its clients along through their professional journey.

Maggie Philbin, fashion PR InternMaggie Philbin, fashion PR Intern