Dedication is not a dirty word

So I’ve had to make a very difficult decision in 2019.

This will be the first time in ten years that Pursuit /Central Coast Chronicle won’t have an internship program running.

Earlier this year, I shortlisted three wonderful candidates, met with them and organised a trial with one. So I was serious (at that stage) about another year of supporting an Intern.

When I was scheduling this trial, I realised I needed to dedicate a full day to this Intern, despite the fact she would only be with me for 3.5 hours.

There was the organisation of tasks before she arrived, (making sure the tasks weren’t too hard and equally not too easy, yet showing her the breadth of responsibilities). Once she arrived, there was explaining how “things work” at Pursuit and Central Coast Chronicle, showing her where everything is saved and then, getting around to some work.

It’s not that I didn’t love this interaction between an Intern and myself and learning to look at things a different way or consider a younger viewpoint.

It really did come down to dedication.

When you have an Intern or a Junior, there’s a lot of explanation that has to go on. If the face to face time is only weekly, that’s a lot of going over the same ground (hopefully only initially). It’s dedicating time and knowledge to someone who is willing to learn, someone who will benefit from your knowledge and you’ll benefit from their participation. It’s explaining the “how’s”, “who’s” and “why’s”.

So often, I’ve had an Intern tell me, “I’m learning so much, Uni doesn’t cover this sort of stuff!”

For me, that’s worth its weight in gold.

I do sincerely hope that in the future, I’ll be able to revisit an Internship program. It may be a program that’s completely different in nature, only time will tell.

I do know when it does happen again, I’ll be completely dedicated to ensuring both the intern, Pursuit Communications /Central Coast Chronicle and our clients all benefit from the experience.

An intern’s perspective

As we look for a new Intern (click here more details about applying!), we’ve asked Jordyn Rankin our most recent Intern, to reflect on her experience.

 

So Jordyn, what did you expect from your internship & what was the reality of your internship experience?

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from interning with Pursuit Communications, I guess that’s because this was my first ever intern experience. So, I went into this with an open mind and an eagerness to learn, even though I knew it would be challenging, yet it would also be very valuable for my future in the PR industry.  

The PR industry is definitely portrayed in a glamorous light and I thought that I would step into this internship with an abundance of knowledge from everything I have learned at University so far. I was quick to realise that a lot of what we are taught in the classroom plays only a small part in this fast-paced industry.

Jordyn, under 100 words – describe your interning experience… 

The reality of my experience, over the 10 months I was with Pursuit proved that practical experience in the PR industry is so important whilst studying at University. I got to see first hand all the time, effort and hard work that goes into having a PR business in order to be successful. I know I have a lot more to learn, however interning with Pursuit has confirmed my passion for PR!

 

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Jordyn Rankin

 

With this in mind, do you think Intern experiences should count towards university credit points?

I think that every University should encourage more students to undertake internships because the benefits are endless. However, in my opinion, the most important benefit is that it gets your foot in the door, gets your name out there and is a way of networking and forming relationships, which is so important to do.

Real-life experience has personally given me a lot more confidence and motivation to succeed and now I’m able to add an internship on my resume, which is also a huge bonus. Brooke (Founder of Pursuit Communications and Central Coast Chronicle) has been an amazing mentor and from day one, I always felt supported in my work and my ideas. With her help, I can now go into my next internship or job interview with some real industry examples and knowledge that will set me apart from the rest.

Where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?

This is a very hard one to predict because of how fast the industry is evolving and how much the web and social media revolutionises the way the PR industry operates. Having also studied Marketing at Tafe I can definitely see both PR and Marketing complimenting each other and becoming more integrated. Utilising both of these disciplines is definitely proving the overall success of businesses today in reaching its target markets. As a result, I think there will always be a demand for experienced, result driven PR practitioners.

 

How so?

The PR industry is a lot more than just press releases and getting the word out to journalists. (If you’re still thinking that it’s just media releases, you really need to chat to Pursuit – some of the ideas Brooke comes up with for her clients are absolute “WOW-factor!”)

So following this line of thinking, PR is becoming more popular for businesses (well I think so!) because of the multitude of ways a message can be executed. PR isn’t advertising, nor is it like marketing. It’s all about storytelling and shaping an image of a certain product, service, event, or organisation. Therefore, PR gives businesses an exciting way to stay connected with their customers (both existing and potential) and an opportunity to educate the general public about what it is they do – in (perhaps) an unconventional way. 

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

The sooner you start interning the more you will get out of your degree and the more experienced you’ll be entering the workforce after University. You will learn so much more by gaining practical experience, so step out of your comfort zone, ask questions (there are no right or wrong questions) and make your resume stand out above the rest. 

Finally, interning is also a lot more than just showing up and doing what you’ve got to do. It’s about being proactive in the office, anticipating what might be happening and asking if you can help (go above and beyond!) it’s also about getting to know what other PR agencies are out there and what they’re all about so I highly recommend researching, talking to people and attending networking events!! It will hugely benefit you and your future as a PR practitioner during your time at University and also when you step foot into the real world.

Brooke’s note: Jordyn, thank you for what you added to Pursuit and to the launch of Central Coast Chronicle. You were here at a critical time for both businesses and your ability to adapt and “switch gears” from “PC” to “CCC” at a moment’s notice was very much appreciated. I wish you continued success with your studies and entering the workforce.

Guest Blog Post: Charlie Bowcock – Intern

Charlie interned at Pursuit at the end of 2017. Her drive and insights made Charlie an invaluable asset to the team.

Here I talk to Charlie about her experiences and future plans!

So Charlie, tell me what did you expect from your internship & what was the reality of your internship experience?

CB: “To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect but I surely was intimidated by the thought of it. It took a lot for me to even apply for internships because I didn’t think that I was enough. The idea of working with clients and contributing to the name that Brooke has built herself on the Coast with Pursuit Communications was not a task that I took lightly.

Coming into this role with this mentality, I thought that I would be a little out of my depth when it came to the practical knowledge that comes with this crazy industry. I felt like I had learnt so much theory at university but none of it had really prepared me for practical PR experience.

I agree, I think a lot of universities need to embrace an internship /placement program as part of their degree qualification. 

Yes! So true and now that I’ve experienced agency life the reality of my experiences interning here at Pursuit Communication were a lot less scary than I had originally thought.

A lot of the skills that I have learnt from working in other industries and during my degree are still applicable in PR work to be able to get the best results for Pursuit’s clients. I was surprised how much I relied on what, before interning here, I had assumed would be common sense for most. I have realised, during this experience that I have internalised much of what I had learnt at university into my everyday life but also, you cannot assume that others have that same common sense knowledge that I took for granted before coming into this role. I guess it is true what they say – you have to live and breathe this industry to do well and you (Brooke) have really instilled that in me during my time here.

Thanks Charlie! So say someone is feeling the same way you were before you started, sell them the benefits of participating in an internship program

CB: The biggest benefit of working at Pursuit Communications and under you (Brooke) is that you support your interns, their work and their ideas. I have been lucky in that from day one, Brooke had the confidence in me that I was maybe lacking in myself to get the job done.

Apart from the obvious benefits of having PR experience on your resume, this role has given me the ability to go into a job interview with examples of how I have helped achieve a positive outcome for a client. It has given me the confidence to know that I can succeed in this industry and I’m not going to lie to you, it is pretty damn fun!

So you’ve now completed your degree and heading out into the workforce – where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?
CB: I see this PR and marketing roles and functions becoming more and more integrated as businesses see and experience how beneficial a good PR practitioner can be, not only to their bottom line but also to the overall culture of the business itself. 

How So?

CB: PR is so diversified in how it functions on paper, but in practice, it really does take a village to raise a (campaign) baby. Good PR work requires the integrated knowledge of multiple people and perspectives to get a holistic picture of how a campaign should look and what will work for a public. With this in mind, I think the industry it will take a more interdisciplinary approach to PR practice.”

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

CB: “Take a leaf out of Nike’s branding and ‘Just Do It!’ That means getting completely out of your comfort zone, like when you are on a shoot and Brooke asks if you would mind being an extra (particularly when you get so nervous your organs feel like jelly).

Furthermore – there are no stupid questions, but there are definitely stupid answers. Do not be afraid to be a little extra, and always back yourself because if you don’t, why would anyone else?”

Thanks Charlie – appreciate your hard work and your dedication, it has been an absolute pleasure having you at Pursuit and I’d like to wish you all the very best in your future endeavours! 

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Charlie Bowcock – (seated right-hand side) taking part in photo-shoot for one of Pursuit’s clients in 2017

 

First guest interview – Lani Beaven

I’ve been wanting to share some interviews with those who are part of the Pursuit Communications universe.

In this first interview, I spoke to our current Intern Lani Beaven.

The Pursuit internship program began in 2010 since then over a dozen individuals have come to Pursuit, to learn what life is like working in a boutique public relations agency.

What did you expect from your internship? & what was the reality of your internship experience?

LB: “I guess heading into an internship in the PR industry you expect all of the glitz and glam that you see on shows like The Hills, however, it was a bit more of a rude awakening. Instead, you find yourself working, for literally nothing. But the old saying goes – you’ve gotta give a little to get a little!

I expected to walk into this industry with an abundance of knowledge that I had accumulated over my University degree and to be a professional from the get-go.

The reality of my internship experience, so far, has proved how much further I need to grow and how much more I need to learn as an individual. It’s showing me that a lot of time, effort and hard work needs to be put in, in order to be successful in this industry.”

Benefits of participating in an internship program?

LB: “Brooke is an amazing mentor and great role model for young people wanting to make their way into the PR/media industries. (edit: aww shucks Lani!)

It’s amazing to see someone flourish in success and I can honestly say that the benefits of participating in an internship program are endless. Real life industry experience, work history to list on your resume, starting to network and build relationships within the industry and the added bonus of motivation to succeed!”

Where do you see the PR industry moving in the next three to five years?
LB: “I remember reading in one of my textbook’s that PR industry professionals are being told to forget everything they ever knew about the way traditional PR works. The industrialisation of the web and social media has revolutionised the way the world and the PR industry operates.

How So?

LB: “I can see the industry moving into a more popular field, which we can already see happening and the services that PR professionals offer greatly expanding to include things like social media, web development, video/photography..”

Any tips for those considering starting an internship program?

LB: “One of the greatest tips that someone once told me was to start participating in internship programs as soon as you begin your degree!

 

Lani

Lani Beaven, Pursuit’s current Intern

 
By the time you graduate you would have an abundance of practical experience to list on your resume.Make sure that you have a resume that stands out, above and beyond everyone else. We are working in a creative industry so show a little bit flair, add some , maybe a pop of scented paper (thank you, Elle Woods!).
Research local businesses in your area and make sure you know what the company does and how they operate. Find who their PR guru is and get in contact with them.
Don’t be afraid to attend networking events, this is where you will meet people who can offer you support in landing an internship that you’ll love.”

I’d like to thank Lani for her contributions to Pursuit week in and week out.

To my previous interns, Pursuit’s success is your success. You’ve all contributed in your own way and for that, I thank you.

If you’d like details on the Pursuit Communications story, I’m available for speaking opportunities. CLICK HERE for more information.