July 11, 2012
Anne Horrell is a corporate team intern with Ketchum PR in San Francisco, California. A native of Stilwell, Kansas, Anne graduated in 2012 and majored in anthropology and sociology and double minored in business and management and visual communications (self-designed).
Tell us more about your internship.
I work with the corporate team to track media coverage about our clients (such as Chase Sapphire, Liberty Mutual, Sharp Electronics, etc.), pitch client events to the media, and participate in creative brainstorming sessions to create new public relations strategies for our clients. In addition, I work on a team of six other interns on our pro bono project, Make-A-Wish Foundation, to create and execute a media campaign to promote their "Wishes-in-Flight" campaign (collecting donated airline miles instead of money).
Describe your day-to-day experiences so far.
I work on a number of different projects throughout the day. My day is different each day. I arrive at work and start on one of my projects -- normally finding media hits about our clients or researching media contacts for media pitches. I spend my afternoon completing more projects, racing to reach deadlines for last-minute assignments, or brainstorming/completing next steps for our intern pro bono project. Sometimes I get to participate in Ketchum classes. These classes range in variety from fun brainstorming sessions to promote a product, participating in a field trip event to a local news station, sitting in on a culinary class, or learning about Generation Y or how to use Microsoft Outlook.
How did you learn about this opportunity?
I found Ketchum through an online search of PR companies in San Francisco. At Knox, I worked with the PR office and had an independent study in PR with John Spittell. Both Professor Spittell and Karrie Heartlein played a huge role in helping me land this opportunity. They gave me interview advice, proofed my resume, and were my professional references for the last stage of Ketchum's interview process.
Can you cite an example of how your in-classroom and/or out-of-the-classroom experiences at Knox have benefited you in the internship?
As mentioned above, I worked in the PR office at Knox and I took an independent study in public relations with John Spittell. I think the independent study gave me a really good (beginning) insight into the world of PR, so that helped me understand what exactly PR is and how it's different from marketing and advertising, but also how each of those fields relate. This knowledge helped during the interview process when I had to answer the question "What is PR?" I think working in the PR office at Knox gave me great real world experience before working at Ketchum, and being able to talk about that experience during my interviews resonated with my interviewers at Ketchum.
How do you think this internship will benefit you in terms of your education, future career plans, personal development, etc.?
I believe this internship will open doors for me as I move forward and apply for jobs in public relations in San Francisco. I have learned so much during my internship from how to properly cite media coverage to giving a media pitch to working with well-known clients. I am interested in continuing my career in the public relations industry, and I think this internship has and continues to prepare me for an entry-level position with another PR agency or Ketchum.
What has been the best part of your internship so far?
I LOVE working on the pro bono project, Make-A-Wish Foundation. I love being able to brainstorm a creative media campaign to promote their "Wishes-in-Flight" national campaign and then work with co-workers to execute the plan. I also enjoy being able to work with large name companies such as Chase Sapphire and Liberty Mutual and seeing that my media research work is actually put to use and how it is used.
I also got to help during a focus group research session for a Japanese whiskey client. It was really interesting to see because our clients only spoke Japanese and the focus group participants only spoke English. The participants had to taste test the Japanese whiskey and then discuss it while the translators sat behind a two-way mirror with the clients and translated the participants' opinions. Hearing the translators translate the participants' words to our clients and seeing how perfect everything had to be for the client in order for the taste test/focus group to go smoothly was very exciting. I loved being a part of it and I felt extremely privileged to be granted the opportunity to observe the experience, to help our Japanese clients, and to talk to the global director of Ketchum who had flown in from New York to moderate the focus group.
What inspired you to pursue the internship/project?
My independent study in public relations with John Spittell was a huge influence. During that independent study I really learned exactly what I wanted to do with my career and learned HOW to pursue it. I have always been interested in marketing/advertising and public relations, and I have had numerous extra-curricular/leadership experiences where I've had to put my communication skills to use. Toward the end of my college career, I realized that I wanted to continue to hone my communication skills and pursue a career in marketing/advertising/public relations.