One of the first things I did when I started this blog in early 2009, was to implement Google Analytics. Right off the bat I realized, it tends to get quite a bit of international traffic.
The US and UK rank #1 and #2 as might be expected. India ranks #3 which isn’t a surprise since I’ve connected with several PR pro from India on Twitter over the years. Canada is #4, which is also unsurprising given geography and economic ties, eh?
Then there’s Australia at #5. There are some common factors: we speak the same language, our countries are strong allies and we have common roots in Great Britain. Even so, it struck me as rather random…why would people so far away read this little blog?
It’s the magic of the web I suppose. The flattening world, shrinking borders, pick a cliché, but the web brings us what has become an under-appreciated benefit: the ability to connect with people we might not otherwise meet. This brings me to Ruby Simmons.
Until just recently, Ruby Simmons spent her last few months of college as an intern for the Public Relations Institute of Australia, or PRIA. One of her roles was identifying and curating content – sourced content – for the PRIA blog which is what led the two of us to connect.
Having just recently completed school she’s begun her job search, which included an application under a controversial recruitment initiative by Porter Novelli. Applicants, including Ruby had to apply using the #socialCV – a resume in 140 characters. Unfortunately, the hash tag was hijacked by trolls, which seems rather mean-spirited to me; it’s hard enough to find gainful employment without the trolls.
In either case, she has pressed on and was informed the PR firm will follow up with her – perhaps even this week. In the meantime, we caught up by email, where she graciously answered a few of my questions for the purpose of kicking off this series.
1) How’d you get the role?
“I had been a student member of the PRIA for a while so I always got their updates via email and social media. When I saw there was an internship opportunity listed on their website, I simply sent my resume and a targeted cover letter, had an interview and got the job there and then!”
2) Why’d you take it?
“I took it because I thought it would be a great opportunity to network with people within the PR and media industry. Although it was a volunteer role and I was in no position to be volunteering (rent, bills etc.). I thought I would give it a go because of the potential networking benefits it held which could open doors for my career.
I was also interested because it had a focus on marketing and while I’m majoring in PR and my last three work experiences have all been PR based, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to see how marketing communications are written, produced and distributed. I also love to write and I am very interested in social media so I was excited to have an opportunity to work closely with the Marketing Coordinator and help with those areas of the PRIA. I also took it because I had always wanted to go to PRIA events but simply didn’t have the money and one of the perks of volunteering was if I helped out at the events I could get in for free!”
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3) What’s the most interesting thing about your internship?
“The most interesting part of my internship is definitely the research I do for articles that will be uploaded on the PRIA blog. It is my role to source and upload articles to the PRIA blog that I think our audience would like to read. This enables me to learn SO much about the industry I want to work in. It also allows me to communicate directly to industry leaders and if I’m lucky, connect with them on LinkedIn! Although that is one of my favourite activities as Communications Intern at the PRIA, I also love having the freedom to occasionally write the content for the EDMs and I love managing the PRIA’s social media pages as it gives me an opportunity to interact with our audience and learn what they like to read and what they don’t.”
4) How many hours do you work?
“I work 2 days a week 9am-4pm. Of course, this is flexible depending on my university timetable. I have had a day off here and there to accommodate for assessments or group meetings with fellow students.”
See these related interviews:
Sales Beware the Buyer’s System; Josh Pitchford in Off Script #10
PR, Content and Net Neutrality; Off Script #9: Steveology
How a Period Begins a Conversation; Off Script #8: Mitch Joel
5) What do you want to do for a career?
“I would love to work in the PR industry. I think PR is really hard, but I also love that it allows you to be really creative in a variety of ways. With this in mind, I would also like to have a go at an advertising internship before I finish my degree just so I can be 100% certain of what I want to do. The perfect career for me would be one that allows me to write creatively, combines many forms of media, has business goals and objectives and one that isn’t static; a career where I’m working on different things in different places to keep my mind moving and challenged. Sounds like PR to me.”
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My father always used to tell me – do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. Wishing you good luck Ruby! Certainly we hope Porter Novelli follows up with you – and I’d ask any readers of this blog that are connected to Porter Novelli to put a good word in for Ruby.
If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
The Blurry Edges of PR; Off Script #11: Kevin Hartman of LTPR