Passing the Baton to the Next PR Intern

PR Intern

It’s my first day of unemployment and I don’t really know how to feel. I left our work group-chat this morning and felt a little anxious doing so, thinking of everything I’ll be missing out on. But this day was due to come around, and it came around quicker than ever.

For my team, this day comes around every year for them, when they have to say goodbye to one intern and welcome in the next. It can be tough when you grow so close to someone for a year, and then a new person has to come and replace them. I know when I first started I felt I had big shoes to fill as the team seemed so close to Charlotte (the PR Intern before me) and I worried that I wouldn’t fit in the same. But working with the same people for an entire year, you basically become family.

I thought since today is my replacement’s first day on her own, I would write something about what the next 13 months has in store for her. A lot of these things will sound familiar from a lot of past posts I have written about my placement, but these are 13 things to expect in the next 13 months as the new PR/Influencer Marketing intern:

1. There will never be enough hours in the day

Every day there are so many things to do. Your to-do list never gets shorter, it only seems to grow. The best part about your job is that the day will never drag. Not once did I look at the clock and think ‘Ugh, it’s only 3pm.’ I usually looked at the clock and said ‘Crap, it’s 4.55 and I have so much to do!’ Your day will run away with you, but sometimes that’s a great thing. You will never be bored, but most things you are worried about can wait until tomorrow. So when it comes to 5pm, you can finish your day and start afresh tomorrow.

Don’t get me wrong, there were many days I didn’t take a lunch break and days when I stayed in the office until 7pm or brought my laptop home to do work. But this was my own choice and I wanted to get ahead of my work and do some extra things. There were also days when I took my full hour’s lunch and went to the gym. Days when it was quiet and some of us interns would take a coffee break to have a catch-up. With every job, there are days when it’s calm and you look for things to do, but there are also days when you feel like you’ll never get everything done and you have a to-do list so long that you don’t know where to even begin.

With every day that runs away with you, so does the week and then goes the month. Before you know it you’ll be six months in and you’ll wonder where the last half of the year has went. Try to make the most of every day and write down the exciting things you get up to because before you know it, it will all be over and you’ll wish you could remember everything that happened.

2. No two days will ever be the same

You have so many varying jobs and brands that require different things that no two days will ever be the same. Most days you won’t even be sat at your computer for longer than fifteen minutes without having to get up and do something. There will be days you’ll be stuck in the stock cupboard, when large orders come in and you need to put things away. Or there’ll be send outs that need doing, or you’ll need to pop to Ryman’s for stationary, or you’ll be running up and down the building all day for call-ins or collecting magazines.

This was one of my favourite things about the job; I was always on my feet and no day was the same.

3. The results of what you do will be extremely satisfying

Over the next year, you will see lots of coverage for the brands you work on. Each piece of organic coverage that the team receives will be extremely satisfying – it was another favourite part of my job. As you will be the one flicking through all of the magazines, most likely, you will see the coverage first-hand.

I always felt a little tinge of excitement seeing our brands in magazines like Vogue, Cosmo and Glamour. This was why I wanted a job in PR. Whether this will be your favourite part of the job, I have no idea. But when you start on your own project and see coverage for products that you have pushed and PR’d, the feeling of satisfaction will be huge and there really isn’t a feeling quite like it.

4. Magazines will come and go

When I first started thinking about future careers, my first choice was to get into magazine journalism. But then I watched two of my favourite magazines fold and I knew that it wasn’t a stable industry to work in. So I chose PR instead and I still get to work with magazines without the uncertainty that I may be out of a job.

During my year at Coty, I’ve experienced the closing of Glamour (now printing only twice a year) and LOOK magazine as well as InStyle.co.uk. With Glamour, we knew it was coming but LOOK came completely out of the blue. Even for the employees themselves – they didn’t see it coming.

Looking at this, how many magazines will fold during your time at Coty? Is there room on the shelves for all of those weekly celeb-gossip mags? Is there a future for Vogue, Good Housekeeping and Cosmo? I hope so. I hoard magazines until they start to take over my room. I love print journalism and look forward to the start off each month when I can buy the newest edition of my favourite magazines.

But who knows what the future holds for fashion magazines, and you may see a few more fold during your time as an intern.

5. You’ll make friends for life

You’ll be spending every day with the other interns for the next 13 months. They’ll become your little work family. I don’t know what your situation will be like, but for us, we spent weekends together and even weeknights. You’ll soon notice that you’ll become closer to a few of the interns and even become best friends. They could be people you never imagined yourself being friends with, complete opposites to you, but it works.

You’ll make lots of work connections and become great friends with other people on your floor, people outside the business, journalists and even Influencers. You already know PR is all about connections and people you know, so you will know to connect and network with as many people as possible. Who knows what they could come in useful for.

Coty Interns

6. If you’re not an organised person, you’ll soon learn to be

Because there is always so much to do and different brands have different deadlines, you will need to learn to prioritise what’s most important. While you are doing the tasks on your to-do list, you’ll constantly have things in the back of your head that aren’t as important but still need doing. Things like ‘I need to order labels,’ ‘I need to send those fragrances to that magazine,’ ‘I need to check when that stock is coming in.’

There will be 100 things flying around your head at one time but you need to learn not to panic and know that they’ll get done when you have time. I was never overly organised before my job, and even at times some of the girls would take to cleaning my desk for me because it annoyed them more than it did me. It may have looked like chaos to them but it was organised chaos to me. I still knew where everything was.

With time you’ll learn which tasks are more important than others and which can wait. There are times I’ll be sat doing something and then think, ‘Why am I doing this?! I should be doing that coverage report that is due tomorrow!’ The best way I kept organised was to write down everything. Put post-it notes around your desk, make calendar notifications, make to-do lists but don’t lose them. I may not have been the tidiest person to work beside, but I was still somewhat organised… (I think).

7. You’ll know everything about everything

When you constantly send things to the same magazines, you’ll soon learn publishing houses addresses off by heart. You’ll know who works for who, their position for the magazine and circulation numbers. You’ll know launch dates off the top of your head for every brand, prices for products and even some of the notes of the fragrances. You’ll know where everything is in the office, even if it’s in the most random of places – you’ll know.

People from other teams will come to you for information on how to do things, how things work or if you know certain information. Most of the time you’ll have it or know how to get it. Since you do so many different jobs, you’ll have so much knowledge on different aspects of the company and how it works.

8. Opportunities will come your way, it’s up to you to take them

I’ve been lucky to experience so many amazing events, premieres and awards shows during my year as an intern. There’s also been store openings, tickets to music gigs and magazine parties. A lot of these I could have turned down. I didn’t have to go. They were passed around the team as an ‘FYI’ in case you wanted to go.

It really depends how much you want to get out of your year in London. I was willing to go to anything and everything. I was only in London for 13 months and I wanted to make the most out of my experience as I possibly could. My advice to you would be to try your best to go to everything you get invited to. Don’t take the invites for granted as the more you turn down, the less you’ll get invited to.

You never know what could happen at these events or who could turn up – it’s London, anything can happen! Some of the events that I got to attend ended up being some of the best nights of my life and events that I will never, ever forget. Take advantage of everything that you can!

9. Prepare for people to get a little envious

If you happen to be like me and post your life on Instagram and Snapchat, you can expect people to message and ask what on earth your job is, how they can get into something similar and they will tell you your life is amazing. Most will be friends but you’ll also get messages from people you don’t even speak to and sometimes, complete strangers.

You can make your life look as glamorous as you want to but they won’t know all the hard work that you put in all year round – the continuous unboxing, the counting stock, running around London, long hours spent in the office. They’ll only see the events you attend and the other perks of your job and think you have it made.

Because of the perks of your job, some of the other interns might get a little envious that you get to attend such events. But sometimes you’ll get the opportunity to invite them along too so other people can benefit from the perks of PR.

10. If you have the right mindset, you’ll live and breathe your job

If you come in every day with the motivation to do your job and want to do it to the best of your ability, you’ll have an amazing year. Of course there will be days when you won’t even want to get out of bed and would rather stay under the covers watching Netflix all day. But if the majority are days that you are excited to go to work, all the better.

The more you invest in your job, the more you will get out of it. Try your best to get involved with as much as possible, share any ideas you have and think of ways you can do things better than I could.

It’s so easy to be passionate about beauty as we work with products that we use ourselves on a daily basis. I just hope you don’t lose that passion.

Coty Christmas

11. You might come to hate Instagram

You’ll spend a lot of time on the Instagram app, constantly checking Influencers’ Insta-Stories, magazine accounts, what competitors are up to and then not forgetting keeping on top of what your friends are up to, your favourite celebrities and adding to your own account.

You’ll spend so much time on the app that you might sicken yourself with it. There’s something about having too much of a good thing. At times my battery usage would be 95% spent on Instagram. When you use something you love as work, the love kind of goes out the window.

Screenshots will take over your camera roll and at times you might end up with more photos of Influencers and press trips on your phone than of your own friends and family. Seriously. I would say to try and take it in small doses, but you can’t. With Insta-Stories only lasting 24 hours, you have to be on top of it 24/7. It’s one thing I’m really looking forward to now that I’ve finished; not having to scroll through Instagram all day, every day.

12. You’ll learn what working life is all about

You’re a full-time worker now. Monday to Friday. 9-5. There are 24 hours in every day and it’s up to you, how you spend them. You might wake up early and head to the gym before work. Or you may roll out of bed at the last minute and make it to work at 9am on the dot. You may make time to see friends in the evenings or take up a sport.

You spend a lot of your time at work, but don’t let it take over your life. As they, ‘Work to live, don’t live to work.’ Think of how many hours you have per day awake. How many hours you spend commuting. How many hours you spend in work. How many hours you have free before you go to bed. It’s not many, but you need to make the most of them. You need to have that work/life balance. It may take a little time to figure it out, but you will.

You’ll learn how you function best. Whether you are an early bird or you stay up late. You’ll work out how many hours sleep you need per night and you’ll make the most of every weekend and day off. You’re getting a glimpse into the rest of your life and you can get ahead of the game and see how you work best and what routine suits you best.

13. You have the best team in the whole company

In my personal opinion of course. But there really is no team the same as the PR team. You can learn so much from every person, and each is different in so many ways. You’ll click so well and they’ll make sure you know what you’re doing and never see you stuck. Take good care of the team and take as much of their wisdom and experience as you can. They’ve all been in the PR industry a long time and it would be a waste if you didn’t ask for their backstory and how they ended up where they are today.

ENJOY IT

You’re going to have the best year ever and as hard as it is for me to pass on the job to you, you’re going to be amazing at it. You may be feeling like a fish out of water right now, and on my first day, I was exactly the same – a ball of nerves. You just have to take every day as it comes and in a year’s time, when it comes to the next intern, you’ll be a pro at your job, trust me.

I really hope you make the most of this year, take every opportunity you can and enjoy every minute of it. It was the best year of my life, and I hope it can be the same for you.

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