How To Have A 10/10 Intern Program at a Boutique Public Relations Agency

boutique public relations agency

I think we’ve all heard of the internships where the interns grab coffees, file documents, or take calls. A successful internship program at a boutique public relations agency requires an investment into their growth (not just getting busywork done)!  Although taking on an intern requires time and resources from your company, having a successful internship program can be mutually beneficial to both the intern and the company, if done well!  Remember that interns rely on their internships to give them a glimpse into professional working experience and to prepare them for the working force.  So to make a great internship program, it’s important that we give meaningful assignments, organized goals, and mentorship.  But first… we need to select the right candidates!

 

Selecting Your Interns 

In order to have a stellar program, you need to find stellar interns.  Start with their resume. Is their previous experience in alignment with what they want to get out of this internship?  In their interview, can you tell what are they excited to learn more about? Looking for an eagerness to learn and hearing about their goals will help you determine who’s motivated to work with your team!  For a boutique public relations agency, it’s common that we touch on so many niches: social media, influencer marketing, and PR. Since PR is so widespread, you could task your candidates with a short task like sourcing influencers or crafting a pitch.  Assignments are beneficial to get a feel for their attention to detail, research, and writing skills.  This will really help you nail the right candidates!  Pro-tip: if you’re hiring multiple interns, it’s important to consider how the group will all work together as a team.  And of course think about how they will mesh with your own team.  Once you’ve found your interns, it’s important to provide them mentorship.

 

Provide Mentorship

Providing mentorship is key in the onboarding process and ensuring that your interns feel that they are learning and growing throughout their program.  Mentors allow interns to make meaningful relationships within their industry, but also to have a point-person who can help them refine their skills.  We love having our interns fill out a reflection before they start their program for their mentors to read.  Interns reflect on what they want to learn, what questions they have, and their goals after the program.  That way their mentor knows if interns are meeting their goals throughout the internship.  (We love doing mid-way and final check-ins with them!)  And of course, we recommend asking them for their feedback.  What did they think was beneficial during their program?  Is there anything that they would change or improve? 

 

Assign Meaningful Projects 

Most importantly, we want to empower our interns through meaningful projects.  This can be involving them in brainstorms, PR pitching, or even a content shoot.   Showing interns that you’re invested in their growth and ideas helps to trust and feel involved in your company and motivated to contribute!  Avoid assigning “busy work”.  Give your interns the opportunity to lead a project or a task that makes a direct contribution to the success of your team.  Our interns love getting involved in pitch writing, content brainstorms, and have the opportunity to send pitches to journalists!  And not only is it beneficial to have a fresh set of eyes for your team, but this is a great way for interns to feel prepared for employment after their internship and proud of the work they’ve done!  

Building a great internship program takes time, but starting with a strong foundation in each of these areas is a great way to start! Follow along here for more information on BLND and how our interns succeed within our team!

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