How to get an internship in PR?

You’ve likely found yourself here because you’re considering a career in PR. It’s an industry that is eclectic and fast-paced; with no two days on the job the same, it’s a role best learned on the job. With a host of agencies and in-house roles boasting clients across a range of sectors, an internship is a great opportunity to understand just exactly what PRs do day-to-day and get to know what type of PR suits you, but you must be prepared to jump straight into the deep end!

At Fanclub, our interns have joined our team in paid roles since the agency’s inception- many of whom have stayed with us for exciting years of their PR career. It’s not just an industry that welcomes interns with valuable experience and opportunities to learn- it’s bloody fun. It’s no surprise that roles are competitive.

So what are employers looking for in a PR intern? And what will give you the best chances in the application process?

What will a PR internship teach me? What will I be doing? 

What you will learn and what you’ll be tasked with doing will vary from agency to agency depending on their specialism. Fanclub is an agency that operates in many different sectors, with interns learning about something new every day! 

First and foremost, be prepared to learn a lot about the media landscape. Any PR internship worth its salt will give you a good grounding in what the media is, its various channels, how each channel is used and how journalists and influencers like to be contacted and spoken to. You’ll also learn the different forms of PR - B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer)- as well as the number of channels we either feed into or own.

At Fanclub, we have a mix of B2B and B2C clients, meaning that not only will you learn about issues impacting consumers, but you’ll also have a brain filled with knowledge across a range of different business sectors; from tech and e-commerce to business consultancies and the marketing industry. No day is ever the same, so a role within a PR agency is perfect for those that constantly crave to learn and want to become a jack of all trades, whilst still being a master.

You can expect to be helping to develop creative campaigns, to raise awareness of our clients and their services, pitching to the media, researching suppliers to bring an event or digital concept to life, or finding the most suitable influencers to partner with.

How do I find PR internships? 

Job sites like Indeed or The Dots are your first port of call, and if you’re a recent or soon-to-be graduate, Milkround is a great start as it specialises in graduate internships. PRWeek and the PRCA even host PR Internships Awards- so you can check out best-in-class opportunities on PRWeek Jobs.

You won’t need us to tell you, but Linkedin is an incredibly powerful resource for making contact with potential employers, as well as keeping up to date on industry work and news. It’s potentially one of the best ways to get you started by keeping tabs on the creative work and thought leadership that’s shaking up the industry. Identify agencies and employers who get you excited, make some connections on Linkedin and keep your ear to the ground for intern ads. 

How do I make my PR internship application stand out? 

Firstly, make sure you do your research on the agency or role you’re applying to -who are its clients? What work has it done before? Is any of it relevant to your own experience or skills? Join up the dots and show that you’re invested in it and what it does. It’s surprising how much this can be overlooked in favour of detailing your own skills, but it’s just as important.

Your cover letter is an incredibly valuable tool that should be used to demonstrate any relevant skills which would apply well to PR- these include copywriting (make sure you proofread your CV as evidence!), communications, creativity, analytical and critical thinking and attention to detail. Not just that, it needs to show who you are. Don’t be afraid to give it some personality.

Communicating is literally what the industry specialises in, so the way you communicate yourself is your first chance to showcase what you can do. Your application needs to show why you’re a good fit not just for the agency but for the industry- this is especially important if your education or experience isn’t a seamless transition. If you’ve got a degree in accountancy, what draws you to PR?

How can I prepare for an interview? What kind of questions will I be asked? 

As an entry-level role, employers won’t be looking for experience. They want an intern who is eager to learn and proactive in the learning process. Outside of the basics around why you are interested in PR and what you can offer, you might be asked to complete some basic skills tasks - perhaps even write a short press release. Make sure you have a broad understanding of the news agenda, too. 

Working within a team is fundamental to a PR role- so expect questions which explore your personality, motivations and values.

Ultimately, the interview process will be different everywhere. But one thing that is imperative, is looking into the agency or company itself- not just the PR work they do, but what their values are and who they are as a team. Go beyond their website and check their social channels and the way they are covered in the industry press. With this info, make sure you ask them questions back- the interview is your opportunity to see if the employer is the right fit for you, too.


Welcome to the team Buzzbike

We are super excited to announce our latest client win, London's leading bike subscription platform, Buzzbike. We will be heading up the brand's consumer and corporate communications while working closely with the entire Buzzbike team to meet growing customer interest. 

Founded in 2016, Buzzbike was launched to be the easiest option for those who want to start cycling in London. For £29.99 a month subscribers receive a high-quality bike and lock delivered to their door; insurance against theft, on-demand servicing, and rewards for riding via the Buzzbike app. Buzzbike also partners with companies to offer a low-cost, flexible way to get employees cycling to work. To date, it counts Spotify, Harrods, and Sweaty Betty among its corporate partners.

Tom Hares, CEO, and Founder at Buzzbike, commented:

“It’s a really exciting time for Buzzbike, as we continue to grow and invest in our capability we needed an agency partner that could match our pace. The team at Fanclub impressed us with their strategic counsel and understanding of the industry landscape. We’re looking forward to doing some great work together”.  

Onwards and upwards, let's get physical London!


The principles of crisis communications planning

We can not understate the cost of an organisational crisis. The consequences of mishandling a crisis can range from loss of earnings, through to the collapse of the organisation, not to mention the potential negative impact on the physical or mental wellbeing of those involved. This is where your crisis communication plan comes into play. As PR professionals, we have a job to do: help navigate our organisations and clients back into recovery. 

At Fanclub, we work with Richard Peel, one of the best minds in crisis management, to help our clients adopt best practices in preparing and managing crises. As such, we’ve captured his best advice to help answer some of the most important questions when it comes to planning for your next crisis. 

What is a crisis communication plan? 

A crisis communication plan outlines the procedures that enable an organisation to effectively respond during an emergency situation. Examples of possible crises in your business may include problems with a product, breakdown in service, data breach, technology failure, or an event as serious as a terrorist attack. As PR professionals, our job is to help navigate our organisations and clients back into recovery. 

How do I prepare for a potential crisis? 

Start by identifying potential threats that specifically relate to your organisation. You may identify some threats from the examples listed above, but it is also important to brainstorm hypotheticals and review case histories of similar organisations for instance. Doing this means you can begin to think about possible responses or work to implement preventative measures. 

At Fanclub, we advise our clients to identify, monitor and then re-evaluate areas of risk on a regular basis. This way, crisis management will be at the forefront of the company, and you’ll be prepared for any potential disasters in your business way before you hit crisis mode.

How do I prepare my team for a crisis? 

The first step is to establish a small team of senior executives to serve as your core Crisis Communications Team. In most cases, the organisation's CEO will lead the team with additional roles including (but not limited to) Spokesperson, Communications Lead, Media Relations lead, Employee Lead, Social Media Lead, Board Liaison and Investor Liaison. 

Before any crisis occurs, clearly define each team member’s role (not titles), responsibilities, and determine how you’ll reach them in event of a crisis. Then together, you’ll need to agree; how the team will coordinate in a crisis, a backup plan, how the media/social media will be updated, how to protect customers, the team, and employees, whilst sharing key information. 

What is media training? Is it important?

Yes, very important! All of your key-spokespeople should be media trained so that in an event of a crisis you immediately have individuals to call when requests come in for radio, TV or press interviews. 

Media training typically involves a full-day session with a professional journalist. Through a series of mock interviews - whether being 1-2-1 broadcast, telephone or video link interviews - you’ll practice how to respond in the face of hostile questioning. By utilising frameworks such as the C.A.P process: Express Concern, Commit to Action, Offer Perspective, media training aims to help you better manage the flow of information and communicate key messages. 

What are crisis communication procedures?

Crisis communication procedures ensure information is effectively gathered and communicated to the correct people in a timely manner. For example, the Social Media Lead should follow the agreed protocol to feed information into teams about the online conversation, as Intelligence gathering is an essential component of both crisis prevention and crisis response.

Similarly, your Employee Lead should also follow to pre-agreed communication procedures to relay up-to-date information to your employees as a matter of priority over other stakeholders. It’s up to you to ensure that they receive the message you would like them to repeat elsewhere before they see, read, or hear it through the media.

What is post-crisis analysis? Why is it important? 

Post-crisis analysis looks at what was done right and what was done wrong during the crisis in order to learn from the event and understand what could be done better next time. Conducting a thorough analysis of events will ensure your preparation for the next time around will be even more robust. 

A post-crisis analysis should cover the effectiveness of all the crisis communication processes and structures, as well as an assessment of whether the crisis could have been averted earlier or prevented entirely. The assessment will provide a useful case history for both current and future management teams. 

To learn more about crisis communications, read our whitepaper here or for more details on crisis planning workshops (run in-person or remotely), contact us at hello@fanclubpr.com.