“You’re working in public relations this summer at a strategic consulting firm. What exactly is that?”
“What have you learned so far while interning at Tunheim?”
These are just some of the things that I hear when I tell my friends what I’ve been doing this summer. This is how I break it down for them:
What is public relations — or PR, as those in the industry call it?
- The definition is always evolving, but public relations is currently defined by The Public Relations Society of America as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” In layman’s terms, PR is really the behind-the-scenes work. For example, we often work with media to secure coverage for our clients. To do this, we work closely with our clients to understand what they need covered and how to go above and beyond their expectations. Public relations professionals build lifelong relationships in order to have insight into what our clients’ current vision is and to help them continue to grow.
What have you learned so far?
- When I worked at Tunheim, a strategic consulting firm, I quickly learned that nothing is ever a one-man task. The team constantly asks questions, holds brainstorm meetings and shares ideas. Working as a team definitely gets the job done well and most effectively. Through this process you not only have one point of view on a topic but multiple views and ideas.
- I learned the importance of media research. I composed media contact lists, researched topics for upcoming meetings and sat in on call meetings with clients regarding their media exposure. Participating in the development of these tools and ideas gave me insight into what it’s like to work in the public relations field and gave me hands-on experience in a professional environment.
- I also think public relations is a great way to propel an already successful business forward. Clients want positive attention for their businesses, which means getting people talking on social media, planning cool events, and earning media coverage.
Following my summer at Tunheim, I plan to further my knowledge of public relations and strategic communications with the possibility of pursuing a career within either field. My internship at Tunheim has been amazing. Team Tunheim welcomed me, showed me the ropes and let me learn firsthand what it would be like to work in PR. I’m excited to carry all that I’ve learned with me as I finish high school and see where communications can take me.
Eva Maghanga is going into her junior year at Hope Academy in Minneapolis. Eva was placed with Tunheim through Step-Up, one of the country’s premier youth employment programs.