Friday, November 20, 2009

Alicia's Final Post

By: Alicia Schindle

I've been working as an intern at Kurman Communications for the past few months as you have seen some of my Got Buzz postings. For my final post, I decided to do a top five gems of information I've learned list since I'm a sucker for rating things: movies, lists, places, food. I have way too many mental list countdowns as well: five weeks until Christmas, three days until I see my dog, two hours until lunch at La Madia with Kurman staff. I thought it would only be appropriate to continue this in my final posting. The following is a taste of what I experienced and learned during my internship. So here it is folds, the highly anticipated top five list, the top gems of information I've learned here:

5. Be persistent. Persistence was one quality that was essential to get this internship, was an attribute that was critical to my success during my internship, and a trait that will be fundamental for a promising future. First, if I wasn't persistent about working in a field that I was passionate about, I probably would be doing a mindless data entry job. After diligently looking, inquiring, interviewing, and following up, it was as important to continue my persistence while interning. Every day I expected more out of myself and I continued to seek out constant challenges in my eagerness to learn.

4. Social media is here to stay folks! Yes, I have a Facebook page, a professional profile on LinkedIn, a Twitter account and I read blogs, so I thought I had a pretty good grasp on the concept of social media before my time at Kurman, but was I wrong. I expected to improve my writing skills and learn more about the professional workforce. What I didn't know was how much I would learn about social media. At Kurman Communications there is a strategy behind their use of these tools and their ability to utilize this technology was beyond my knowledge. I knew there was lot of behind the scenes work that goes into generating buzz, including understanding the methodology, analyzing communications and marketing option, identifying and engaging communicators from all walks of life with the primary goal of getting noticed. I also knew public relations was and has always been a strategic marketing function in motion, I just hadn't realized how integrated social networking had become as a platform. As I started tweeting, posting and updating information on Facebook and to the KCI blog, Got Buzz, I quickly learned how social media has broadened the opportunities for Kurman's clients to get noticed.

3. Details, details, and did I mention details? At Kurman, I learned the art and importance of editing and searching for those little details. With every piece I wrote, re-wrote and wrote again, I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses as a writer. Even what may have seemed like the tiniest of details, an extra space after a period, adding a retweet button to a blog post, or capitalizing the first and second letter of a word was the difference between work that was fine and work that was great. I learned that although something may have made sense to me, there's always another way for a thought to be expressed and a lot of communication lies in the small details and phrases. I learned that effective communication is key to success and my supervisors and, even the company president, Cindy, brought light to really thing about the details and then re-thinking the details.

2. Media are people too. Corresponding with media can be a bit daunting and frightening at first, but I learned that the best way to deal with this fear is head on. It's like when as a little kid you were scared to jump off the high dive, and the longer you stood up there and looked down the more scared you became. Your big sister was always in the pool screaming to "JUMP! The longer you stand there, the more difficult it gets!" And just like the high dive, the longer you look at the phone thing about the reporter hanging up on you, or laughing in your face, the scarier the call becomes and takes on a life of its own. Instead of staring at the phone, I picked it up and made my first call, and I realized, it was just like calling up a friend to tell them about something really cool (because our clients are cool and fun to talk about).

1. You CAN and should love your job! You spend more time at work than you do with your family and most friends. Fortunate for me, I really found I enjoyed and loved the work I was doing. I also respected and had of lot fun with those I worked with at Kurman. My colleagues were always very supportive and helpful in explaining, as well as, outlining tasks.

My advice for any intern is to ask questions and get involved in the organization. You won't learn anything by only doing what you're told. I have already have many doors opened for me and have had the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and most creative mind in PR. With the completion of my fourth internship, I am armed with the tools for a promising future and I'm excited about the opportunities and challenges that are ahead. I look forward to my future in PR and know that thanks to Kurman Communications, I will be taking a rocking portfolio and resume with me.

As they say, where one door closes another opens!

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