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Become A Public Policy Internship

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Working As A Public Policy Internship

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

  • Stressful

  • $63,301

    Average Salary

What Does A Public 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 Public 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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Public Policy Internship Career Paths

Public Policy Internship
Legal Assistant Realtor Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Legal Assistant Property Manager Communications Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Program Manager Deputy Director
Director Of Public Affairs
8 Yearsyrs
President President And Founder Public Relations Director
Director Of Publications Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Director Event Manager
Director Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Law Clerk Adjunct Professor Communications Consultant
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Communications Coordinator Public Relations Manager
Marketing & Public Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Administrative Coordinator Account Coordinator
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Law Clerk Managing Partner Marketing Consultant
Marketing And Communication Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Fellow Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Communications Coordinator Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
President Program Coordinator Communications Coordinator
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Consultant Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Marketing Consultant Public Relations Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Consultant Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Fellow Program Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Public Policy Internship Demographics

Gender

Female

63.0%

Male

35.3%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

56.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Black or African American

13.2%

Asian

11.9%

Unknown

4.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.3%

French

16.4%

Chinese

6.7%

Mandarin

4.8%

Portuguese

4.8%

Italian

3.0%

German

3.0%

Russian

2.4%

Japanese

2.4%

Bengali

1.8%

Arabic

1.8%

Turkish

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%

Hindi

0.6%

Somali

0.6%

Korean

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%

Danish

0.6%

Bulgarian

0.6%

Greek

0.6%
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Public Policy Internship Education

Schools

George Washington University

14.5%

American University

10.1%

George Mason University

6.3%

Syracuse University

5.7%

Georgetown University

5.7%

Michigan State University

5.0%

University of Texas at Austin

5.0%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.0%

University of Pennsylvania

4.4%

Georgia State University

4.4%

University of Arizona

3.8%

Columbia University

3.8%

Cornell University

3.8%

Duke University

3.8%

Boston University

3.1%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.1%

DePaul University

3.1%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.1%

Carnegie Mellon University

3.1%

Suffolk University

3.1%
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Majors

Political Science

27.2%

Law

11.9%

Public Policy Analysis

6.7%

Economics

6.5%

Public Health

5.2%

International Relations

4.7%

Public Administration

4.3%

Business

3.7%

Social Work

3.4%

Psychology

3.4%

Environmental Science

3.2%

Communication

3.0%

Public Relations

2.8%

English

2.6%

History

2.6%

Natural Resources Management

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

1.7%

Philosophy

1.7%

Global Studies

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.1%

Masters

35.8%

Doctorate

10.0%

Other

7.1%

Certificate

1.9%

Associate

1.1%
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Top Skills for A Public Policy Internship

  1. Advocacy Efforts
  2. Congressional Hearings
  3. Legislative Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Helped coordinate advocacy efforts to secure state funding for Indiana's 2-1-1 service and expand early childhood education quality and access.
  • Scheduled advocacy meetings with congressional staffers, tracked and monitored congressional hearings, prepared reports, and performed basic administrative duties.
  • Research, analyze, synthesize, and summarize public policy and legislative issues affecting the nonprofit sector.
  • Tasked with serving as a resource to state legislators on a wide variety of public policy issues, e.g.
  • Assisted in the hiring process for the organization's Grassroots Organizer and Public Policy Interns.

How Would You Rate Working As a Public Policy Internship?

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Top Public Policy Internship Employers

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