Think you have what it takes to be a Dittoe PR intern?

It’s that time of year again! We’ll be interviewing for our 2013 Spring internship positions in mid-October. If you’d like to be considered, read the description below and send your resume, cover letter and writing samples to christy [at] dittoepr.com.

Public Relations Internship Job Description:

Requirements/Skills: Public relations interns will be actively enrolled in, or a recent graduate of, a university journalism, public relations, marketing, advertising or other related program. Current students will preferably have at least sophomore standing. The individual must demonstrate the ability to undertake basic public relations writing assignments and possess an understanding of basic media relations skills, an ability to interact professionally with clients, and good judgment. A working knowledge of computers, as well as word processing and database management software is necessary. The public relations intern will be mentored by the intern director and will work closely with the firm’s account executives. The intern director will help the intern prioritize tasks and focus on multiple projects and deadlines simultaneously. Interns will work between 15-30 hours a week. Summer interns will work 40 hours per week. Prior relevant experience is preferred.

Responsibilities: We are looking for a paid intern to work with us on a wide variety of client projects, including but not limited to:

  • Drafting basic public relations materials including news releases, fact sheets, client meeting summaries, status reports, social media posts and other materials as directed
  • Carrying out special and media event planning activities and arrangements as outlined by the intern director
  • Attending and participating in client meetings, media training sessions, presentations and brainstorming sessions as directed
  • Assisting with the development and updating of media lists and other databases. Other tasks include database creation, data entry and update additions and corrections
  • Assisting with administrative duties including sorting, collating, stuffing envelopes, mailings and other administrative functions as assigned
  • Supporting the firm’s efforts by drafting news releases and performing research activities
  • Assisting firm staff with other client, business development and firm management projects as needed

Note: This is a paid internship, and we are seeking applicants that can work 15-30 hours a week.

Why Investing in PR Makes Sense for Startups

Some PR firms shy away from working with startups. Why? They see these young, blossoming companies as needy, inexperienced newbies lacking a proper marketing budget. But that’s not the way we see it. Working with startups brings raw energy, inspiration and fresh perspectives to the table. And that’s why Dittoe PR has had a love affair with startups that spans more than a decade.

As the director of business development for one of the country’s best high-tech PR firms, I get to meet a lot of cool startups (check out Quipol, uFlavor and Musical DNA). Now, it’s fair to say that most startups (at least the ones that I have had the pleasure of meeting) have limited budgets for marketing. My advice? Rather than trying to do everything right off the cuff, invest in one form of marketing and do it well.  Here is why I believe, that for startups, PR should be the single-line item in their marketing budget for 2012.

Creates brand awareness. PR is the quickest way to share your brand’s story with the masses. Consumers look to the media for insight on the latest and greatest.  Receiving editorial coverage on TechCrunch, Mashable, Rolling Stone, The New York Times or WIRED can catapult your brand to a whole new level.

Builds authority in search. It’s no secret that a successful PR campaign can boost your SEO. That’s why I asked our partner Douglas Karr, CEO of DK New Media, author of “Corporate Blogging for Dummies” and founder of the Marketing Tech Blog, for his thoughts on the subject.

“Much of the Internet, including what you see in search results and promoted socially is found and ranked based on authority. In search, authority is measured in backlinks from authority sites.  In social, the voice is amplified further based on the authority of the person talking about it. Since authority isn’t something that a startup has, it’s something they have to acquire. While it is possible for a startup to build authority without help, it takes months to see any gainful results. This is crucial to the health of a startup. The reason why we push a public relations strategy with all of our startup clients is because they’re able to jumpstart their authority online by actively getting in front of influencers. PR also trickles down, providing great backlinks in search results and tons of attention socially. Public relations should be a foundation for all startups. In other words, our startup clients are able to get to market faster and get greater results quicker with a PR strategy than without.”

Saves valuable time. When you’re at the helm of a startup, you’re wearing a hundred different hats.  When you’re responsible for everything from coding to customer retention strategies, chances are PR will slip to the bottom of your endless to do list.  When you hire a PR agency, you’ll have a dedicated person or team devoted to PR responsibilities.

“As any entrepreneur who has dabbled in PR knows, it’s incredibly time-consuming to research the appropriate media outlets for their startup, find the right contacts at each media outlet, develop attention-getting pitches, write press releases and follow up with writers to see coverage through,” says Lauren Sanders, partner and vice president of account services at Dittoe PR.  “With a PR agency, you’re able to take a very time-consuming role off your plate and focus on other areas of the business that need your attention.

Helps define your brand. In addition to the time factor, another great reason to hire a PR agency for your startup is to get an unbiased yet knowledgeable perspective on how to best position your startup to the press.

“As an entrepreneur, you get so close to your ‘baby’ that it can be difficult to take a step back and determine the best way to describe your startup to the media,” says Sanders.  

A PR professional is constantly communicating with a variety of media outlets, journalists and bloggers and they have a keen sense of what certain outlets and reporters respond to best and what they would find interesting about your startup.

Garners attention from investors. As you can probably tell, we’re no stranger to working with startups. We’ve had more than one client catch the eye of venture capitalists through media coverage that we have secured for them on sites like Venture Beat, Tech Crunch, WIRED.com and Mashable. After all, the best way to get noticed by top investors is to get out there and make some noise.

Dittoe PR is Definitely the Place for Me!

I can honestly say that after only being at Dittoe PR for a few weeks, I have learned more from the incredibly bright PR people here than in any class or internship setting. The work atmosphere and PR knowledge at Dittoe is refreshing. Employees work around the clock to show clients and the industry that we are truly leaders in the PR realm. Everyone’s willingness to help one another to gain the greatest outcomes for clients is truly admirable. I am confident my strengths in traditional and social PR tactics will be put to good use here at Dittoe, even if my journey to get here took a little longer than expected…

Two weeks after graduating from Indiana University, I moved to Dallas, Tex., to take on a public relations internship with a top-tier PR firm. Keep in mind, I’m a born-and-raised Midwestern gal who went to college in her hometown, so moving to Dallas was a great way to experience being on my own, grow in myself and learn to love a new city. Leaving my family and comfort zone was an incredibly tearful time, but I am proud of myself for taking on a new city in which I had never even visited, in addition to only knowing one person. Living by myself in an artsy district of Dallas varied drastically from living in a sorority house with 120 girls on IU’s campus.

I welcomed the new atmosphere, and my internship pushed me to delve deeper into PR tactics and required me to learn the ropes and better myself as a PR guru in hopes of landing a full-time position in the future. Upon moving home from Dallas, I had hopes of landing a job in Chicago to join friends and family already living in the city. I wanted to utilize my journalism and communication degrees, and I knew had a lot to offer a firm. My job search was somewhat discouraging until I decided to reach out to Dittoe PR in Indianapolis. Their reputation for strong media relations and social media skills was something I was looking for in a firm. Little did I know that the DPR team consists of people with sharp PR backgrounds and Indiana hospitality.

One thing led to another and here I am as Dittoe’s newest team member. I am positive I will continue to grow in my creativity, writing capabilities, teamwork skills and independence as a young PR professional. I love PR because it allows me to be an outgoing, positive advocate for someone or something. I pride myself on always having a smile on my face and letting my light shine in any environment!

My faith and persistence led me to this incredible role at Dittoe and I know it will be full of challenges and thrills. Although I’ll never get back those special moments at home, I’m now more thankful than ever that I was able to have cherished time with my family while waiting out for the best job opportunity here at Dittoe PR. I know this is where I’m supposed to be!