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Become A Public Affairs Internship

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Working As A Public Affairs Internship

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

  • Stressful

  • $59,682

    Average Salary

What Does A Public Affairs 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 Public Affairs 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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Public Affairs Internship Jobs

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Public Affairs Internship Career Paths

Public Affairs Internship
Account Coordinator Marketing Consultant Digital Marketing Consultant
Digital Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Digital Marketing
10 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Program Manager Deputy Director
Director Of Public Affairs
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Senior Account Executive Public Relations Director
Director Of Publications Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Marketing Director Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Program Director Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Communications Coordinator Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Communications Coordinator Public Relations Manager
Marketing & Public Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Business Manager Account Coordinator
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Law Clerk Managing Partner Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Researcher Writer And Editor Video Editor
Media Director
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Assistant Senior Account Executive Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Development Coordinator Media Coordinator
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Assistant Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Coordinator Account Supervisor Public Relations Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Researcher Producer Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Program Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
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Public Affairs Internship Demographics

Gender

Female

62.3%

Male

34.3%

Unknown

3.4%
Ethnicity

White

53.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

13.4%

Asian

13.3%

Unknown

4.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.7%

French

16.2%

Chinese

6.1%

German

5.6%

Mandarin

5.4%

Arabic

4.0%

Russian

3.8%

Korean

3.6%

Italian

3.6%

Japanese

3.1%

Portuguese

2.3%

Cantonese

1.3%

Hindi

1.1%

Vietnamese

1.1%

Polish

1.1%

Hebrew

0.9%

Tagalog

0.7%

Turkish

0.5%

Filipino

0.5%

Czech

0.5%
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Public Affairs Internship Education

Schools

George Washington University

13.0%

American University

12.3%

Georgetown University

8.4%

Northeastern University

7.5%

New York University

5.5%

Howard University

5.1%

George Mason University

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Syracuse University

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Florida

3.7%

Boston University

3.7%

University of Southern California

3.3%

University of Texas at Austin

3.3%

Johns Hopkins University

3.3%

Florida State University

3.1%

Quinnipiac University

3.1%

University of Alabama

2.9%

University of California - Berkeley

2.9%

Temple University

2.9%
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Majors

Political Science

16.6%

Communication

15.2%

Public Relations

11.6%

Business

6.8%

International Relations

6.7%

Law

4.7%

Journalism

4.6%

Marketing

4.0%

English

3.6%

Pharmacy

3.5%

Economics

3.0%

Global Studies

2.8%

Public Administration

2.6%

History

2.5%

Public Policy Analysis

2.1%

Psychology

2.1%

Business Communications

2.1%

Finance

2.0%

Criminal Justice

1.8%

Management

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.8%

Masters

29.4%

Other

8.0%

Doctorate

5.2%

Certificate

1.5%

Associate

0.9%

Diploma

0.1%

License

0.1%
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Top Skills for A Public Affairs Internship

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  1. Press Releases
  2. Public Affairs
  3. Public Policy
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided support for the Panama Canal Authority team including compiling daily international media report and developing press releases for new projects.
  • Supported international programming activity for a membership based organization serving public affairs executives representing over 600 companies and organizations.
  • Provided day-to-day assistance for Public Affairs Coordinator and Vice President for Public Policy.
  • Provided information for company events and activities including new hospital openings, renovations, volunteer and community outreach programs.
  • Coordinate efforts associated with the preparation of regulatory documents or submissions.

How Would You Rate Working As a Public Affairs Internship?

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