By Samantha Spitz, Intern
I can’t believe how fast my internship has gone by — it feels like I just started yesterday! I have already picked up so much and am excited to continue learning and growing with the agency.
Since starting at Hoffman back in June, I have been assigned to four accounts. Each account is very different from the other, so I am constantly learning about new topics and new media outreach strategies. I have also been able to contribute to Hoffman’s Instagram by managing daily Instagram stories and brainstorming new social media campaigns. I’ve enjoyed being a part of the social team because it gives me the freedom to be creative and innovative with my social posts.
The best part about this internship is that I’ve been able to be a part of multiple projects interacting with different Hoffman team members and clients. The most memorable part was presenting a PR proposal to a potential new client with the team. As an intern, I didn’t think I would have this opportunity, but during the presentation, I had a speaking role and took part in the conversation between Hoffman and the potential new client. This opportunity gave me the chance to see things from the other side and gain valuable new business insight.
Through these experiences, I’ve learned how journalism and public relations work together to apply the storytelling techniques needed to share a compelling story. During a storytelling workshop with CEO Lou Hoffman, we learned about the different storytelling techniques and how to apply them to technology PR. While tech PR can be complicated and full of technical jargon, Lou showed us how to identify the key points, build in contrast and levity, and finally make it conversational. I think one of the most important takeaways from this workshop was Lou telling us to “think like a journalist.”
Even though I’ve only experienced the “work-from-home” environment during my time at Hoffman, I still feel connected to the people I work with. Hoffman hosts weekly get-togethers with the whole team, frequent 1:1 check-ins and a weekly intern cohort meeting. This allows me to not only get to know the people I work with on accounts, but also converse with the entire U.S. office.
I’ve had the opportunity to work on a variety of different projects ranging from building media lists, drafting pitches and helping with new business research. I’ve especially enjoyed working with the Cheetah Mobile team because they give me lots of opportunities to work on important projects that are eventually presented to the client. I was one of the first members on the team, so it has been rewarding to see how far the account has come.
Being taught everything virtually is a whole new dynamic with a major learning curve. I’ve received lots of valuable advice and words of encouragement from the Hoffman team. One piece of advice that sticks out to me the most is when in doubt, practice using critical thinking skills to solve a problem. I often find myself tasked with new assignments I’ve never done before. Instead of bombarding my manager or account lead with tons of questions, I take a step back, do my research and then craft my questions accordingly. This process allows me to use my critical thinking skills to try and solve the problem before seeking help.
For others just starting a career in tech PR, I would advise to just take it all in. It’s an industry that continues to challenge you and test your skills, and it only makes you better.