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7 tips for PR managers to get the most—and the best—from interns

by | Jan 4, 2022 | Public Relations

There can be a lot of benefits to hiring interns at your PR firm. Not only can it help you to find future employees that can be great assets to your company, but it can also be a good way to help those just starting out on their career paths find their passions and learn what they excel at. If you are in the process of hiring interns or have interns that you need to train, then it can be important to take some time to consider how you will be training them, and what your goals are for the time that they spend with you.

While it may seem like a big project to take on, the reality is that it doesn’t have to be. There can be many ways to help make sure you are training your interns properly, and that both you and they get the most out of your time together.

Start with a plan

When it comes to training interns correctly, it is essential to make sure that you are starting out with a plan. While it can also be important to be flexible and understand that things might not always go according to the plans that you make, not having some plans in place when you take on some new interns can lead to a range of different issues. Some of them being that they may not get trained properly, or they may not be able to learn everything that they need to.

Teach them about quality communication

Once you have got some plans in place for training your interns, you need to start focusing on the basics of functioning well in a professional setting. One of the most important things that you can teach them is how much proper communication matters in a business setting. From negotiations training to interpersonal dynamics, there can be a lot to understand.

While there can be a lot of ground to cover when it comes to quality communication, it can be a good idea to narrow your focus in the beginning, and teach your interns only what you think will be the most important when it comes to working at your company. For some, a focus on things like body language may make more sense, while at other companies it might be a better idea to spend time discussing things like active listening.

Let them get to know the company

As you are teaching them about things like communication, you also need to make sure that you are letting them get to know the company, and what the company’s core values are. While there are many things that they will need to learn that will apply to all businesses and business settings, there will also be things that they need to know that are specific to your company and the way that you do things. The more that you can talk to them about what your company values most, the better able they will be to become valued members of your team in the future.

Give them projects to test their skills

When you have interns, it is important to get to know them and to give them projects that will test their skills and abilities. Each intern will come to you with different skill sets, so getting to know them is important for being able to help them both boost the areas where they already show talent, and to help them strengthen their weaker areas.

The kinds of projects that you give them are entirely up to you. In some situations, you may want to design practice scenarios just for your interns. In other cases, you may want to have them working directly with your company’s big projects to give them some real-life experience. Either way, giving them opportunities to show what they can do is essential for you and your interns to get the most out of their experience.

Delegate small tasks to them

Along with giving them big projects to cut their teeth on, it is also important to give them smaller tasks to manage as well. Even though it may not seem significant, giving them little jobs teaches them a lot about how a business runs and also takes some of the pressure off of your daily workload. The more that you let them take on smaller tasks, the more that it will help increase their confidence, and the more that they will see that you trust them to manage these kinds of tasks in general.

Keep encouraging them

Encouragement is important when you are working with interns. This has a lot to do with the fact that they will be taking on and learning new things, which can be challenging and potentially discouraging to some. If you want your interns to feel excited about the work that they are doing and to stick with it, making sure that you let them know when they are doing a good job is essential. The encouragement you give them can not only help them to feel better about the work that they are doing, but it can also drive them to pursue the areas where they excel.

Give constructive feedback

Along with making sure that you are encouraging your interns, you also need to make sure that you are giving them honest feedback as well. When they make mistakes or don’t do something properly, it is necessary to let them know about this and to guide them in the right direction. While it is important to make sure you are correcting your interns, you also want to do it in a tactful and balanced way that inspires them to work harder and improve, rather than feel like they can’t do the job.

Parting words

There can be multiple benefits to hiring interns for your PR firm. However, it is important to make sure that you are getting the most out of the experience and helping them to do the same. Even though it may not always feel easy to properly manage interns, by taking the time to train them well, you can help ensure that they are gaining important knowledge and that you are helping create valuable potential employees for your business.

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Kevin Gardner
Kevin Gardner graduated with a BS in Computer Science. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS, where he helps companies integrate technology to improve performance. He shares his knowledge and expertise not only with his clients but with his fellow bloggers and readers.

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