The numeric value of pi, often noted as 3.14 for brevity purposes, lends itself well as a theme to summarize the knowledge I’ve gained thus far as a Voxus PR intern. I liken pi and its representation of an infinite decimal as a timely and applicable topic because there’s always a never-ending sum of information to be learned—especially when you’re a newbie in the world of public relations, like myself.
Much like Voxus’ previous intern and now program associate, Ashley Nash, I moved nearly 2,500 miles to pursue a career in Washington after college. But unlike my predecessor, I had not studied media communications as an undergrad. I was a radio, television & film major. I took a marketing course as part of my business minor and ‘public relations’ was a term on the final exam, but beyond that, the field of PR was largely uncharted territory.
Somewhere between networking and serendipity, I scored a meeting with Voxus a month after arriving in the Pacific Northwest. I bought a blazer, did my homework and interviewed with three members of the Voxus team before finally landing the internship. The gig came with a steep learning curve, but now I’m five months into my tenure as a junior PR practitioner.
Although the list seems never-ending (like pi), here are 3.14 pieces of knowledge I’ve gained from working at Voxus:
It’s one thing to know your own business, but it’s perhaps even more crucial to understand your clients’ businesses. To effectively communicate their unique stories, you need to know all their ins and outs. And at Voxus, this means becoming intimately familiar with small to medium-sized technology companies—the agency’s bread and butter. If I thought PR was “uncharted territory” when embarking on this internship, then the technology world was alien terrain.
I made it my mission to thoroughly research each of my clients. I asked upwards of a million questions and even subscribed to several technology-focused publications to stay current on the latest industry developments. It was a crash course, but by my third month at Voxus I had grasped enough to earn an internal presentation opportunity. After a week of preparation, I delivered a half-hour presentation on packet intelligence for network monitoring and security. I know that’s a mouthful, but needless to say, I was light years from where I started.
Me before Voxus:
Me at Voxus after a few months:
2) Mentor appreciation
Cocky robot jokes aside, as a neophyte, no matter how much I thought I knew at any given point, there was always massive amounts more to learn. To be successful, I needed someone to help me navigate the rapidly changing landscapes of PR and technology media.
I wouldn’t have made it a mile—much less “light years”—past my first week without guidance from my Voxus mentor, Anthony. Seemingly unique to Voxus, I’d never been designated a mentor at previous jobs. In fact, I still attribute the majority of my old bartending know-how to Google. (Thanks again, Google!) However, no search engine is as effective or beneficial as having a real-life human to consult.
Working at Voxus, regular check-ins with Anthony quickly became a cornerstone of my PR education. Our meetings presented an opportunity to ask questions, review my performance and pick the brain of someone who possessed years of valuable PR knowledge and experience. Additionally, mentors give great advice. It was actually Anthony who gave me the advice to write a blog post during a mentoring session which looked eerily similar to this:
For some, ‘spreadsheet’ may be a scary word. I’ll admit, I haven’t been incredibly fond of Excel in the past. But the truth is that spreadsheets have just been given a bad rap -unjustifiably so. Spreadsheets deserve some good PR for a change.
During my first months at Voxus, the majority of my tasks revolved around creating and managing spreadsheets. Whether it was tracking a client’s media coverage or targeting contacts for a press release, spreadsheets quickly became my favorite method of organizing loads of data. After all, there’s more time to *dig dig dig* for the best media contacts when you’re utilizing the proper tool to gather and report information efficiently.
3.14) March 14 is National Pi Day!
I picked up this fun fact while creating a “holiday list” for one of the social media accounts Voxus manages. The lesson here is the importance of planning and curating timely and interesting content around the interests of a targeted audience.
As far as I can tell, tech pros love Pi Day. But let’s save this juicy bite of information for the next slice of Voxus blog-berry pie.