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Become A Government Relations Internship

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Working As A Government Relations Internship

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $69,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Government Relations Internship Do

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals. 

Duties

Public relations specialists typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Respond to information requests from the media
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Help maintain their organization's corporate image and identity
  • Draft speeches and arrange interviews for an organization’s top executives
  • Evaluate advertising and promotion programs to determine whether they are compatible with their organization’s public relations efforts
  • Evaluate public opinion of clients through social media

Public relations specialists, also called communications specialists and media specialists, handle an organization’s communication with the public, including consumers, investors, reporters, and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.

Public relations specialists draft press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of public relations specialists. For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what an organization does concerning that issue.

Press releases are increasingly being sent through the Internet and social media, in addition to publication through traditional media outlets. Public relations specialists are often in charge of monitoring and responding to social media questions and concerns.

Public relations specialists are different from advertisers in that they get their stories covered by media instead of purchasing ad space in publications and on television.

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How To Become A Government Relations Internship

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Employers prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

Education

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Through such programs, students produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates their ability to prospective employers.

Training

Entry-level workers typically begin by maintaining files of material about an organization’s activities, skimming and retaining relevant media articles, and assembling information for speeches and pamphlets. After gaining experience, public relations specialists begin to write news releases, speeches, articles for publication, or carry out public relations programs.

Other Experience

Internships at public relations firms or in the public relations departments of other businesses can be helpful in getting a job as a public relations specialist.

Some employers prefer candidates that have experience communicating with others through a school newspaper or a leadership position in school or in their community.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Public relations specialists deal with the public and the media regularly; therefore, they must be open and friendly to maintain a favorable image for their organization.

Organizational skills. Public relations specialists are often in charge of managing several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Public relations specialists sometimes must explain how a company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

Speaking skills. Public relations specialists regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to clearly explain the organization’s position.

Writing skills. Public relations specialists must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them in a short, succinct way to get the attention of busy readers or listeners.

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Government Relations Internship Career Paths

Government Relations Internship
Law Clerk Attorney Owner
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Law Clerk Consultant Sales Manager
Sales And Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Law Clerk Consultant Assistant Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Consultant Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Account Manager
Client Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Assistant Executive Assistant Property Manager
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Account Executive Product Manager
Brand Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Account Executive Principal
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Executive Assistant Owner
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
Fellow Editor Marketing Manager
Marketing And Operations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Editor Founder
President And Founder
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Team Leader Assistant Director
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Account Executive Relationship Manager
Client Relationship Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Marketing Coordinator Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Customer Service Supervisor Client Services Manager
Client Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Marketing Coordinator Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Recruiter Senior Consultant Engagement Manager
Engagement Director
10 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Development Coordinator Development Officer
Manager Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Tutor Editor Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Summer Analyst Strategy Consultant
Brand Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
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Government Relations Internship Demographics

Gender

Female

50.6%

Male

37.4%

Unknown

12.0%
Ethnicity

White

57.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

12.5%

Asian

11.0%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.0%

French

15.3%

Mandarin

6.7%

Chinese

5.8%

German

4.4%

Arabic

4.2%

Italian

4.1%

Russian

2.9%

Portuguese

2.6%

Japanese

2.5%

Cantonese

2.4%

Hindi

1.8%

Korean

1.7%

Urdu

1.2%

Turkish

1.0%

Hebrew

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Greek

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Thai

0.8%
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Government Relations Internship Education

Schools

George Washington University

11.6%

Pennsylvania State University

9.1%

American University

8.9%

New York University

5.5%

Michigan State University

5.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.2%

University of Texas at Austin

4.7%

George Mason University

4.6%

Boston University

4.4%

Georgetown University

4.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.1%

Arizona State University

3.9%

West Virginia University

3.8%

Cornell University

3.8%

Florida State University

3.8%

University of Florida

3.7%

DePaul University

3.7%

Syracuse University

3.3%

University of Central Florida

3.3%

University of Southern California

3.2%
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Majors

Political Science

17.8%

Business

14.5%

Communication

10.8%

Law

6.7%

Marketing

5.3%

Public Relations

5.1%

Human Resources Management

4.4%

Economics

4.1%

International Relations

3.9%

Finance

3.6%

Psychology

3.5%

Public Administration

2.8%

Management

2.7%

English

2.5%

Accounting

2.2%

Kinesiology

2.2%

History

2.1%

Public Health

2.0%

Global Studies

1.9%

Criminal Justice

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

61.2%

Masters

21.7%

Other

8.7%

Doctorate

5.0%

Certificate

1.6%

Associate

1.5%

Diploma

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Government Relations Internship

  1. Donor Database
  2. Public Policy
  3. Alumni
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained donor database and facilitated relationships with donors through follow ups and thank you cards.
  • Participated with industry coalition meetings regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard to further develop the association's public policy agenda.
  • Advised students and alumni regarding internship and job search strategy and interview preparation.
  • Assisted with external stakeholder engagement strategy and editing of press releases.
  • Researched, interpreted and issued policy briefs on regional social/economic reforms Authored summaries and highlights of Congressional hearings and industry events

How Would You Rate Working As a Government Relations Internship?

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