WORKING AT ZAPWATER: AN INTERN'S PERSPECTIVE
A day in the life of a PR intern can vary just much as the day in the life of a working publicist. You never know if you will be pitching and sitting in on conference calls or running errands and faxing documents. In either case, our days are often very busy and filled with several different tasks to help out the team. To get a better idea of what we do here at Zapwater, we chose to outline the top ten things we do every day at Zapwater…
1. Update Media List- As an intern*, updating media lists may seem like a tedious task, but of course, it is extremely important. Being in touch with the media is perhaps the most important day-to-day piece of business for a working publicist, and as an intern it is important to become familiar with the media. Whether you are an intern or an Account Supervisor, Cision is your BFF, and updating media lists is a task that every intern must tackle.
2. Media Trackers- We knew that writing and communication were both very important in public relations but never would have thought that our math skills would be so essential. Media trackers show clients the value of their placements, and the pristine management of these trackers is very important for an intern.
3. Clips- Clipping articles for clients shows the value of a publicist’s hard work on paper. As an intern, we do several media clips each day, and if we are lucky, get to clip a few of the placements that we’ve pitched and secured ourselves!
4. Errands- At Zapwater, errands can be anything from going to the store to grab a magazine for a client placement or picking up large photos to hang up in the office as décor. Part of being an intern is staying on your toes and remaining willing and ready to take on any task that is tossed your way.
5. Research- Needless to say, research is an essential part of any PR campaign. We as interns are often trusted to research several topics per week, whether it is media contacts in another region or partnership opportunities in a client’s community.
6. Twitter/Social Media- Social media is a big part of our lives as publicists in training, and we are always keeping all social media channels open on our laptops and checking on our clients’ accounts. We also draft tweets for many of our clients as well as contribute content to post to Zapwater’s social media channels.
7. Meetings- We’ve been lucky enough to participate in quite a few meetings here at Zapwater. This includes internal meetings along with conference calls and occasional meetings with clients. We have casual daily meetings with at least one person on the team to go over projects and to-do lists. One of our favorite parts of our day is interacting with our coworkers and clients.
8. Prioritizing- Some days our to-do lists are bigger than others, and we have to prioritize projects based on deadlines and the importance of the project. This is a constant learning process for any intern, and over time, we’ve learned that this takes using out best judgment and consistent communication with the team.
9. Pitching- A few months into our internship here at Zapwater, the team started tasking us to help with select media pitching, and we’ve had quite a bit of it ever since. Between drafting media alerts and press releases, pitching to press contacts and following-up with journalists, this is a huge part of our days and of course, part of the life of every publicist.
10. Monitoring for coverage- A majority of the time, our account supervisors send us client coverage to clip. However, we also have Google alerts set up for all of the accounts we assist on and help to monitor and search for coverage on a daily basis. If we find coverage that was a result of our pitching, well, that’s just icing on the cake!
There you have it! The day often seems to fly by! Mind you that with all the work does come many moments with the team that are a bit more lighthearted; whether it be laughing over a YouTube video, chatting about the latest celeb gossip (Tom and Katie, anyone?), hearing someone randomly burst into song from their desk, pizza Friday’s in the conference room (our favorite!) or taking a few minutes to celebrate someone’s promotion or birthday in the kitchen. Even though we are not yet working publicists, everything we do helps us learn more about what the staff at Zapwater does and how they manage to be so successful.
*Since writing this post, we have become official Zapwater employees! Every day is a new experience for us and we are very excited to begin our careers as Assistant Publicists with such a successful team!