October 3, 2012
|Alison Hamer and Lindsey Lucenta|
For the last year or so, I’ve served as LCWA’s internship coordinator. My job is to seek applicants, review resumes, run interviews and ultimately serve as a mentor for the selected intern. Since I began my tenure at LCWA as an intern, I love that my career has come full circle, and now I can help others learn. I recently checked in with our current intern, Lindsey Lucenta, to ask her perspective on what it’s like to be an LCWA intern.
[Alison Hamer:] So, how is your internship going? What is your favorite part?
[Lindsey Lucenta:] It’s going great! I appreciate that I’m given challenging work and really feel a part of the LCWA team. I most enjoy picking up the phone to pitch media about the great things our clients are doing. While it’s time-intensive and difficult to engage journalists, the hard work pays off when you see the published story.
[AH:] The internship checklist we use is meant to give you a wide range of experiences – do you feel that it has helped you?
[LL:] My time at LCWA has provided a solid foundation upon which to build a career in public relations. When I started, I was allowed to hit the ground running, quickly gaining experience in the many facets of agency PR. As an intern, you aren’t just building media lists – you have the opportunity to write news releases, pitch journalists, engage clients’ social media, conduct research, participate in strategy development and more.
[AH:] What’s surprised you most about agency life?
[LL:] A perfectly planned-out day can take a completely different turn if something else comes up that requires immediate attention. I always make a to-do list but, sometimes, that list goes out the window because an unexpected interview opportunity arises or we need to help a client quickly respond to a news story. When that happens, I have to reprioritize my tasks. During my internship, I’ve had to improve my time management skills and learn to be more flexible.
[AH:] As an intern, what skill do you call upon most?
[LL:] It’s difficult to name just one skill to describe a typical day’s work. My communications skills – writing, listening or speaking – are applied in everything I do. Writing is a must-have skill for many tasks, from drafting media materials to sending emails that grab journalists’ attention. It’s important to always be an active listener to guarantee that I don’t miss any details and fully understand assignments. When it comes time to pitch stories over the phone, I have to be able to get my message across quickly and effectively.
[AH:] How often do you use social media in your day-to-day job and why is it important?
[LL:] I use social media nearly every day both on behalf of clients, as well as personally. Social media competence is important because everyone is using it and it offers opportunities to create meaningful, mutually-beneficial relationships. Clients need social media to help build strong, reputable brands and I need it to network and leverage relationships with editors and bloggers to colleagues and others in the PR industry.
[AH:] What is your best advice to someone looking to become an intern at LCWA?
[LL:] Take good notes! Always have a notebook and write down everything. During meetings or even informal conversations, you’ll get a lot of information and instruction, so having those notes will help you walk through the steps on your own. Also, when in doubt, ask questions. It’s best to clearly understand what’s expected of you the first time around so that you’re more time efficient and helpful.