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Become A Policy Internship

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Working As A Policy Internship

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

  • Stressful

  • $185,887

    Average Salary

What Does A Policy 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 Policy 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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Policy Internship Career Paths

Policy Internship
Law Clerk Project Manager Operations Director
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Policy Analyst Program Manager Development Director
Community Development Director
8 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Account Manager Marketing Director
Community Relations Director
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Communications Coordinator Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Law Clerk Fellow Program Manager
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Fellow Assistant Professor Program Director
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Chairperson Case Manager Outreach Coordinator
Director Of Outreach
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Program Manager Deputy Director
Director Of Public Affairs
8 Yearsyrs
Chairperson Marketing Director Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Property Manager Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Research Analyst Marketing Manager Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Communications Coordinator Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Program Director Communications Director
Marketing And Communication Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Research Analyst Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Development Coordinator Media Coordinator
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Instructor Program Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Researcher Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Policy Analyst Communications Director Public Relations Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Researcher Producer Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Policy Internship Demographics

Gender

Female

56.7%

Male

39.6%

Unknown

3.8%
Ethnicity

White

53.9%

Black or African American

14.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Asian

12.8%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.4%

French

15.8%

Chinese

7.0%

Mandarin

6.6%

Arabic

5.3%

German

4.4%

Italian

3.4%

Russian

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Hindi

2.1%

Korean

1.4%

Hebrew

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%

Cantonese

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Bengali

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Hungarian

0.6%
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Policy Internship Education

Schools

George Washington University

13.3%

American University

11.4%

Georgetown University

8.7%

Johns Hopkins University

5.8%

University of California - Berkeley

5.5%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Columbia University

4.6%

George Mason University

4.4%

New York University

4.3%

Duke University

4.3%

University of Chicago

4.1%

University of Denver

3.9%

Syracuse University

3.4%

Boston University

3.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.2%

Harvard University

3.2%

University of Texas at Austin

3.2%

Cornell University

2.7%

University of Illinois at Chicago

2.6%

University of Washington

2.6%
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Majors

Political Science

20.2%

Law

10.6%

Public Policy Analysis

8.5%

Economics

7.2%

Environmental Science

6.2%

Public Health

6.1%

International Relations

5.7%

Public Administration

4.5%

Social Work

4.1%

Business

4.0%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

3.3%

Health Care Administration

2.7%

Global Studies

2.6%

Finance

2.6%

Psychology

2.1%

Urban Planning

2.1%

Area Studies

2.0%

History

1.9%

Sociology

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.7%
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Degrees

Masters

42.4%

Bachelors

36.8%

Doctorate

10.8%

Other

7.0%

Certificate

2.5%

Associate

0.5%

Diploma

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Policy Internship

  1. Advocacy
  2. Health Care
  3. Congressional Hearings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Organized and represented LIIF at meetings with partner organizations and Congressional staff for information sharing and advocacy purposes.
  • Researched and analyzed health care, public benefits, national school lunch nutrition and voter registration legislation and policies.
  • Conducted background research on economic policy proposals; reported on congressional hearings and policy discussions
  • Collected information and data from various government websites and policy research institutes and responded to legislative or stakeholder queries.
  • Monitored policy issues specific to Internet privacy and security via various news sources, including general media and industry trade organizations.

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