Part of the fun of working for a great agency is being encouraged to think. Here are some of the things we’re thinking about.

What Working in a PR Agency Is Really Like

August 12, 2020 the Bradford Group

(Post written by our 2020 summer intern, Dana Berry).Intern working at computer

Going through college, you think you know what working for an agency is like. You hear stories, your classmates talk about it, maybe you even go to some agency tours over your four years. At least for me that was the case. 

I thought I knew what my day-to-day would look like. Spoiler alert: No matter which classes you take, you don’t know what agency life is really like. You need the experience of an internship to understand what you’re signing up for. I thought I wanted to work for an agency, but now I know I do. To anyone looking to join this sector after college, it’s even better than you’d expect.

Here are a few takeaways from my internship with the Bradford Dalton Group this summer:

No one day is the same.

Cliche, right? Everyone says this, but it’s true. You really don’t know what your day is going to look like in advance, especially as an intern. You could have numerous tasks pop up that you didn’t anticipate. It’s part of what makes agency life so exciting. 

Here at the Bradford Dalton Group, I have three weekly tasks, but every single day something else pops up for me to work on. The best days are when I receive countless emails, work hard all day and say “Oh no, it’s 5 o’clock already!”

Writing is the most crucial skill in PR.

I’m sure you’ve heard how important AP style is by now, but you don’t understand the half of it until you’re tasked with writing three different pieces on deadline. The amount of time you save just knowing the basics, like how to write out an address or whether to capitalize the title before or after the name, is huge. If you focus in any class, make it your writing class because it will pay off!

No matter which classes you take, you don’t know what agency life is really like. You need the experience of an internship to understand what you’re signing up for.

Social media is no joke.

I feel like PR people get a bad rep because the stereotype is that all we do is write social media captions and send emails. On the contrary, that’s far from the truth. Little do people know, social media is not easy. 

When you are tasked with writing for clients from a variety of industries, it’s tough! Social media takes research and preparation. I came into this internship thinking I knew how to tackle social media because I had experience with it from college, but college experiences are so different from the real world. It was the wakeup call for me that everyone needs to experience.

Meetings are important.

Let’s be honest, everyone complains about meetings in college. “Another meeting that could’ve been an email” is a common expression we’ve all used. Working for an agency isn’t like that. Everyone is busy here, so having weekly or bi-weekly meetings to catch up on what everyone on your team is doing is important. When you’re working on multiple client teams at once, it’s hard to keep track of everything happening with each one. Meeting to go back over the project summary is essential in any agency.

There are no bad experiences.

Not every task you are given at work is going to be a thrilling experience. But each and every task is going to be rewarding. You never stop learning. As an intern, that’s the main thing I’ve picked up on. People have apologized for giving me a “boring” task, but I embrace those. Nothing is boring to me. Whether it’s creating a media list, researching opportunities for a client or writing a press release, I am learning. 

And for that, I am grateful. In full-agency meetings, we sometimes have colleagues give presentations, and I get to see people of all ages show interest in what’s happening. You really do never stop learning.

I could list thirty more takeaways from my six weeks interning at an agency. Ultimately, it’s something everyone should experience for themselves before entering the workforce because you really don’t know what agency life is like until you get the opportunity to enter into it. The Bradford Dalton Group was the perfect introduction for me. 

If you’re interested in gaining the same takeaways I did, applications for fall internships are open on the website.

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