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Sparkpr: A crash course in my PR internship

March 9, 2011

Rachel keeping it together!

Our third post in the life of a  Sparkpr intern! Here’s Rachel’s story about going big or going home…

Last week, I had a crash course in my PR internship.  What’s the saying: sink or swim? I swam. Fast!

Tuesday: Today’s the big day! My client will be announcing a major partnership/promotion! It’s really exciting but, there is a lot to do beforehand. Line up the release on the newswire. Develop a media list. Gather emails. Divvy up the targets. Then the fun begins! And no, I didn’t do that all alone.  So, what’s my goal? Send out pitches to over 100 media contacts (that’s just my share). Hope some of them will bite, and in-turn want to schedule a meeting with an executive and/or write an article about the promotion.

Past coverage on the walls of the Spark PR office

So it goes like this: send email, get email, send email, get email, email bounce back (uh-oh, note: update media list), schedule meeting with reporter, email client for availabilities, send email, get email, etc. You get the point. It moves quickly. But, after all of that, a Google search shows that there are over 100 articles about the promotion. I mean big titles here: Forbes, Wall Street Journal, New York Times. I had something to do with that? Amazing!

Wednesday: Wow, more and more articles keep popping up. I scan every inch of the internet to find out who covered the promotion news and develop a coverage report for my client. By far, this was the biggest coverage report (a.k.a. comprehensive list of all articles on the web about the client/promotion) I have ever created. Hours and hours of searching go on. Then, Surprise!

My client calls. They have decided that Monday will be the day to make another huge announcement, this time, a funding announcement. Well, that’s a whole different ball game. Not only are the media interested in this news, but so are all the industry and financial analysts out there.  So, outreach round two begins.

Can you say inbox overload? Everyone wants to speak to my client! Fantastic. Alright, time to arrange the calls. I coordinate the calendars – I even make a calendar in excel! Fifteen briefings are scheduled. Oh yea, briefing sheets! Have to send some reporter background information to the executive team. The night continues…

Thursday: Thursday is a vacation day for two of my team members, and another is in back-to-back meetings. So it’s me, intern Rachel, and one other team member.  Calls are booked back-to-back. We have the CFO on the line with one reporter and the CEO on the line with another. I have never staffed a call with a reporter before. I have never talked to the CEO or CFO before. Buy hey, we are 3 men down… so here goes nothing!  Yes, I’m nervous someone will ask me a question I don’t know the answer to, but it all works out.  I get to listen to reporters interview executives. I feel like I’m eavesdropping. I’m really behind the scene! This is so cool. I take rigorous notes during the call, then send out an update to everyone.  Did today really just happen? I staffed three calls!

Friday: Thursday …take two.

Phew. I need a cocktail!

Wondering what a briefing sheet is? Got a coverage report and don’t know where to start? Ask the interns at Sparkpr!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan March 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm

You’re a survivor, Rachel!

Leave a comment if you want to ask Rachel about what it’s like to sit in on an executive interview, talk to press or keep track of intern life itself!


Meredith March 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm

omg, I think I need a cocktail just reading that! And you didn’t even mention that you kicked off with another account either. You’re a wonderstud!


Jamie March 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm

I remember that week all to well. You knocked it out of the park. Way to go from intern to super stud. 😉 A job well done!


Jacqueline March 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm

That sounds crazy! Hope Friday turned out well and that your clients were happy!


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