For me, the month of May comes with many important life changes. This year, in particular, I reached two important milestones: I graduated from Colorado State University and I turned 22. Another change this year for me is the conclusion of my internship with Allyson Conklin Public Relations. As I reflect on my time at ACPR I realize there are many life and career lessons I will take with me onto the next portion of my career.
A strong and patient mentor is a huge blessing.
When I first interviewed with Allyson I told her it was my goal to find a mentor who could guide me into the next stage of my career. She has done just that. Allyson has been a rock star of a mentor. She taught me constructive criticism is the best and quickest way to grow as an individual and a professional. She provided me with many tools to improve my professionalism in the workplace, work toward the future goals of a team, and support the needs of clients effectively and efficiently. As my first taste of agency experience, Allyson and the rest of the ACPR team confirmed my passion for public relations and fostered the beginning of my career.
Connections are key.
I quickly learned the importance of relationship building when I began at ACPR. Going the extra mile when engaging with media contacts can be the difference between securing a press hit and missing the mark. A public relations professional must always be conscious of their interactions with others in person, over email, and on the phone. This internship taught me to maintain a strong professional personal presence.
Quality is always better than quantity.
One of my weekly tasks while at ACPR was researching features in magazines and on blogs. The task was to identify three to five online media outlets per week to pitch our clients for. Every week this task was different. Some weeks I would find over seven outlets and some weeks I would find two or three. Often I would get discouraged with my inability to find outlets appropriate for our clients. Allyson would recognize my frustration and say, “Quality is always better than quantity.” This advice is important because it applies to many different aspects of life. Strive for quality because quantity does not always ensure favorable outcomes.
Always remain positive.
There are trials and tribulations that accompany every job. Several times during this experience I received feedback that wasn’t positive. Instead of feeling discouraged and upset, I allowed the poor feedback to fuel my drive to be better the next time. Remaining positive was my greatest weapon when I was faced with unfortunate feedback. Getting upset and disheartened does nothing when it is time to perform for the next task. Instead of dwelling on the negative, think positively about what you have learned, what skills you have gained, and how you can improve for next time.
Thank you, Allyson, for your guidance and encouragement throughout this journey. You have played a very important role in my professional and personal life, and I am forever grateful.
Cheers and cheerio!
Emma Brokaw is the ACPR Spring 2017 Public Relations Intern. A native of Santa Cruz, California, she just graduated from Colorado State University with a B.A. in Journalism & Media Communications with a focus in Public Relations. Emma loves animals, hiking, and everything Colorado.
Photo courtesy of Cassie Rosch, Photographer