I love both of the offices I work in and both of the organizations have been extremely helpful in preparing me for the “real world.”
My first (which I am at every Monday and Thursday) is at the wonderful Prichard Communications, where I am a Digital Accounts Intern. Prichard Communications is a PR agency in downtown Portland that services nonprofits, philanthropies and public agencies. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) employs Prichard Communications along with other agencies to do PR for their “Vulnerable Populations” grantees. For the most part, Prichard Communications focuses on the “new media” aspect of PR for these grantees.
Most everyone at the University of Portland (and in Portland for that matter) knows Prichard Communications because of Mac’s List. Mac’s List is a great job resource and list for Portland jobs. If you aren’t following it, then you should. During my last year of school, I stalked Mac’s List religiously in hopes of finding that perfect entry-level position. Turns out that I am now interning for them!
I primarily work with Stephen, the New Media Editor at Prichard Communications. Under the guidance of Stephen, I have been able to work with RWJF grantees Health Leads and Green House Project. Although I did not focus a lot of my education on PR, I feel that the work I have through Prichard Communications has opened up a career path for me. I have been able to learn the importance of building the communication capacity of organizations through the usage of social media.
For part of my internship, I compiled history, articles, and information about Health Leads and Green House Project to write their Wikipedia pages. What was interesting about writing the Wikipedia pages was the combination of both journalism and PR I had to utilize during the writing process. Not only did I have to be objective with my writing, but I also had to taken into account the strategic goals and messaging for each organization. Posting the pages, I also had to take my first crack at HTML, which turned out to be a painless experience for the most part (surprise, surprise!).
I was able to speak to both organizations and the other PR firms employed by RWJF about both pages to ensure the pages accurately reflected the non-profit organizations. I’m not going to lie, I was completely terrified during my first conference call!
The other part of my internship focused on the Mac’s List, more specially the Job Resource tab on the website and the 2011 user survey. The Job Resources aspect of my internship required a lot of sifting through websites to find the best of the best to provide for Mac’s List users. I can now proudly say that I can distinguish between an awesome job resource/board to a so-so one. We have compiled a list that continues to grow every week. It’s a great feeling to know that a website I found might help a fellow Portlander find that dream job.
The user survey has been my biggest obstacle during my internship. With over 8,000 e-newsletter subscribers, the user survey is the perfect way to reach out to subscribers and clients to figure out what they need from the list. Having never done a survey of this magnitude, my work with Stephen and the amazing staff was key in creating a great survey. It has now been taken by roughly 1,300 users and that number is still growing! I am now working with Stephen on creating a report and wrap-up of the information and quotes we have obtained to make Mac’s List even better for Portlanders.
Reading back, I believe I have just written a love letter to my internship at Prichard Communications. With only two weeks left, I am going to be sad to leave the bright red walls of the Intern’s office and getting to see the motivated and successful people that comprise Prichard Communications. I have learned so much about jobs/PR/Portland/life from Mac, Lori, Stephen, and Jennie! And I have become good friends with the other Digital Account Intern Jenna (we always seem to have a great time in our spacious back office!)
Good news is that our internship positions are up for grabs! I highly suggest that every UP Com Studies major apply for the Digital Accounts Internship.
Trust me, you will be working for some of the best people in Portland if you do!