AKCG Internship Blog

December 22, 2020 | Intern

AKCG welcomes interns each semester to gain hands-on public relations experience. Our interns work directly to support the AKCG team and our clients in crisis communications and proactive media relations efforts. Take a look at what some of our recent interns had to say about their experience with us. ​​


Name: Jen Long

School: The College of New Jersey

Year in School: Senior

Three words to describe your internship experience:

  • Enriching
  • Growth
  • Unforgettable

How did you find out about AKCG?

I found out about AKCG from one of my favorite Communications professors at The College of New Jersey, Dr. Farbman. He reached out to me last spring with an opportunity to intern with AKCG, and I instantly grew excited about the idea of working for such a well-respected firm.

Describe your internship experience at AKCG.

Prior to starting my internship experience with AKCG, I had no idea what to expect. My prior experience had provided me with a strong skillset in digital design and marketing – making the world of public relations out of my comfort zone. I have always liked to write, and knew that was one skill I would be able to exercise and strengthen the most throughout this position. Aside from my expectation of the position being writing-intensive, however, I was uncertain of what specific tasks being a Crisis Communication Intern would bring me.

I had a general knowledge of the public relations field through my coursework and some relevant experience through my leadership positions on my college campus. I was oblivious, however, to all of the moving pieces that contribute to developing effective strategic plans to portray clients in the most favorable light possible. I did not know prior to my internship experience that there are two main areas of AKCG’s services – proactive media relations and crisis communications – that intertwine to provide the best services possible for the client. It was so interesting to me to learn about the difference in responsibilities between the two areas, and amazed me that everyone on the team worked in unison and could complete any task despite what their specialty may be.


“I believe one of the most rewarding aspects was better understanding the mindset needed in crisis management. I found myself not having to ask as many questions about the logic behind crisis-counseling – the nature of the work started to just click.”


One of my typical responsibilities was monitoring senior living trade publication sites for any relevant coverage on the industry that could affect our clients. Additionally, much of my work involved supporting the crisis team in drafting a wide range of crisis preparedness materials. Crisis messaging was difficult for me to grasp at first, but with the great mentorship of my colleagues, I quickly caught on and developed an appreciation for it. Supporting the crisis team in drafting crisis messaging over the last few months has not always been easy, but it has been rewarding to refine my writing and critical thinking skills. It allowed me to see not only the public relations world, but the world as a whole with a crisis-management lens – a skill that will greatly benefit me in my professional life. Aside from crisis work, my other responsibilities included completing a plethora of research on clients and the communications industry to ensure that all of the advice and training we provide to our clients is fresh and relevant.

What information/experience did you find most rewarding during your time at AKCG?

There have been so many rewarding experiences throughout my time at AKCG. In regard to assignments, I believe one of the most rewarding aspects was better understanding the mindset needed in crisis management. I found myself not having to ask as many questions about the logic behind crisis-counseling – the nature of the work started to just click. Aside from my task work, by far the most rewarding aspect of this internship experience was working with an amazing mentor, and an amazing team. I am very grateful for all of the help, guidance, and support each member of the team has provided me.

Where do you hope to end up in the future?

I am taking full advantage of my senior year to buckle down and figure out where I see myself upon graduation. Currently, I am anticipating doing some sort of Marketing Communications in the healthcare field.

What advice would you give to future AKCG interns?

The main piece of advice I would give future AKCG interns is not to simply just exist amongst the team – become a part of it. The expertise of the individuals on the AKCG team is unmatched. This experience is what you make of it, and every individual on the team wants to see you thrive and do well. At the tip of your finger you have some of the most knowledgeable and well-respected individuals in the public relations world – take advantage of every conversation and make the effort to get the most out of your experience!


Name: Sean Barnett

School: Rowan University

Year in School: Senior

Three words to describe your internship experience:

  • Informative
  • Unique
  • Challenging

How did you find out about AKCG?

Being a member of PRSSA at Rowan.

Describe your internship experience at AKCG. 

Coming into this internship, I expected to be assigned writing tasks while working on AKCG’s social media accounts. However, I worked on a variety of projects, collaborations, and marketing assignments. Working remotely presented challenges, but my supervisor, Angelica Flynn, and the rest of my colleagues supplied the resources needed to complete tasks efficiently.

In the beginning, my typical responsibilities included assisting in proactive media relations regarding one of AKCG’s healthcare accounts and gathering metrics for our social media accounts.  In my first month, I drafted news releases, pitches and Q&A articles, one of which appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer.


“Before starting, I was unfamiliar with media monitoring software and how it worked. I learned how valuable it is to a public relations agency working with dozens of clients. The importance of knowing when and why a client is mentioned on any form of media is a must in PR.”


I helped the account team monitoring media traffic for clients, when needed, and gathered metrics from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. My assignments became more diverse as my time at AKCG continued. I began working on different accounts with a wide range of tasks, including research, Google Analytics, Google Ads and brainstorming for AKCG website content.

My research also detailed a competitive analysis for a senior living facility comparing USPs and service lines to surrounding hospitals. I assisted AKCG’s social media team in drafting copy and graphics for social posts. Later on, I worked in AKCG’s Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts, learning the basics of each. This included research on improvements to AKCG’s search engine optimization methods and tracking analytics for web traffic.

What information/experience did you find most rewarding during your time at AKCG?

Public Relations is well known for unpredictable days. At AKCG, no two shifts are the same, and that benefits me. My supervisors update me on my workload before each shift and my priorities are subject to change depending on what needs to be completed for clients.

Before starting, I was unfamiliar with media monitoring software and how it worked. I learned how valuable it is to a public relations agency working with dozens of clients. The importance of knowing when and why a client is mentioned on any form of media is a must in PR.

Where do you hope to end up in the future?

I aim to take everything I gained from AKCG and continue to work in PR whether in-house or at an agency.

What advice would you give to future AKCG interns?

My advice for new interns is to take notes as much as you can. Every discussion is a chance to learn and improve as a PR pro. Write down any advice and instructions given to you. My supervisors and coworkers provided valuable insight and direction on current tasks and professionalism in the business.

Any additional thoughts?

My coworkers are reputable professionals willing to help me at a moment’s notice. Their services are versatile within the communications field, allowing me to add several new experiences on resumes and portfolio pieces. I aim to take everything I gained from AKCG and continue to work in PR whether in-house or at an agency.

 

Thank you, Sean and Jen, for your support this semester!