I have recently completed an internship with the Grand Erie District School Board. This was an amazing experience, in which I explored and was able to apply my knowledge in PR. I had the opportunity to visit multiple schools in order to cover events such as, pumpkin festivals and Remembrance Day celebrations.
At these events, I received quotes from guest speakers and took pictures, in order to create articles about the events, for the school board’s social media and news letter. I also interviewed several teachers who were involved in the United Way campaigns at their schools. I reported on how they were achieving excellent results and funds for the charity, and why the United Way is important to them.
There was also the very pleasant, but unexpected experience in creating an email relationship with the United Way communication executives in Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk. This allowed me to realize that speaking to executives in organizations is not as intimidating as I originally thought. I will now not be as nervous to pick up the phone, write an email, or meet with an executive or a manager for an informative interview to explore jobs in PR.
During my time with the GEDSB, I also was educated on how policies by the Ministry of Education affects non-profit organizations.
It is not simple for a non-profit to create a partnership with the school boards. In one excursion to the Brant Safety Village, I learned that in order for a partnership to occur, the Safety Village had to align their safety teachings with the curriculum. This allows for field trips and funds to go to the Safety Village.
I then created a presentation on how non-profits can get their foot in the door to the school systems. I created a PowerPoint depicting the best ways to do this through social media communication and also based on education policies. Through my research, I found that non-profits are most successful when they get a representative such as a principle or a teacher, which creates a direct relationship with the school.
This real life practice in consulting myself as a public relations liaison and researcher, provided me with valuable knowledge that will stay with me throughout my career.
Other projects I was involved in, included writing a 10 part series on teacher wellness. In these writing pieces, I provided suggestions and information on how to improve the mental and physical wellness of teachers. This, along with the media release, social media posts and blurbs on students, events or special days, are projects that were humbling to complete.
My time in an internship made me realize the significance of PR in an organization. Now, I am looking forward to what lies ahead, with a wealth of new knowledge at my disposal.