I haven’t had someone coo at me in a very long time, but as soon as I tell an entertainment PR exec I’m an intern AND a student, the professional tone converts to this baby-like awe as they remember what it’s like to first start out in Hollywood as a baby publicist.
They think we’re cute, they love our ambition; but if you ask me, there’s nothing cute about being a “baby publicist.” Pacifier and baby bottle jokes aside, it is a serious matter, one that throws all sorts of situations at the young practitioner that teaches them how to grow professionally in such a short period of time.
The entertainment PR intern/assistant sees it all: the bright lights, the red carpets…the coffee-fueled nights of events and carrying your life via smart phone…the days spent etching your pupils with twitter handles and timelines of content…the countless emails and awkward client calls…these are the things that make my work week worthwhile. Working in entertainment PR can be quite demanding, but I’ve found it to be one of the best fields in which to gain experience.
A year or so ago you couldn’t convince me that I’d be a part of the entertainment scene; I was sure that I would have nothing to do with the entertainment capital of the world but now I have found that working in Tinsel Town is the place to be if you want to learn and learn quickly.
If being a PR executive was ranked as being the seventh most stressful job in America, being a PR assistant has to be higher on that list. The level of responsibility and accountability you are given is somewhat reminiscent of being the one chosen to cut the wires to a bomb; major decisions rely on your ability to diffuse situations and handle them in a timely manner. There are a million tiny ways to make big mistakes, but each lesson learned along the way cultivates experience like no other.
Business Insider released a list of the 20 most powerful publicists in Hollywood, and as I scrolled through the list I imagined what it would be like to have my photo and bio listed one day; what would contribute to my success as a PR practitioner? What sacrifices would have to be made? How would I promote my firm and deliver the best possible results and valuable strategies to my clients? Sometimes it’s so difficult to see the road ahead and how you will distinguish yourself in such a highly competitive field; however, it’s refreshing to know that the CEOs of the entertainment capital had to start somewhere that looks a lot like where we are as interns and assistants.
It may seem as though the road to success in PR is tedious, but what I’ve learned to appreciate along the way are the opportunities for growth. The ability to make mistakes early in your career and learn from them makes everyday on the job valuable. If we must crawl first on this journey though our professional PR careers, the insight from our mentors and other professionals we encounter along the way can provide the nourishment we need to grow professionally. Entertainment PR is highly aggressive and it can bring about a level of assertiveness in you that you never knew existed. I’ve learned that as a young student in the field it can be somewhat intimidating to approach our senior counterparts and ask for advice, but if we don’t spit out the baby publicist pacifiers we may miss out on tidbits of wisdom that can help us become some of the most influential professionals in our respective PR fields.
How has being an intern influenced your professional growth?