We get it. As interns, life is tough. They take up challenging tasks that showcase their strengths and also help work hard to develop knowledge and skills while maintaining a positive attitude. In a new series titled “Views from the Mill”(ennials), we asked the youngest members of the PRecious Communications team to share one of the best communications related advice that they received from a mentor.
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Highlight one (or more) advice from a mentor that helped you or will help you in your communications career.
Trust yourself and speak with conviction
The best communications advice comes from my grandmother. Despite not growing up with wealth and advanced education, her joie de vivre, ambition, and sharp mind never dulled. She became a businesswoman who can talk to anyone about- and at times, into- anything. I’ve witnessed her engage with the likes of politicians, corporate executives, and other societally “impressive” people.
Whenever I feel intimidated or face people beyond my scope of expertise, I always remember her telling me that it doesn’t matter what your background or knowledge is compared to everyone else in the room. It’s important to trust myself and speak with the conviction of a woman who’s secure in her self-worth.
Contributed by Tisha Martinez, Junior Client Executive, PRecious Communications
Be comfortable with change
Starting a career during this economic crisis can be challenging. In an environment that is continually evolving, one advice I always remember is the importance of being comfortable with change and the unknown. Media is an ever-changing industry. New forms of communication and networking keep launching, even in the most unexpected of places such as social media.
As a new intern in a PR firm, it is essential to be flexible and keep up to date of the media landscape. That involves doing my research and building knowledge on industry news. Entering a new field can be intimidating, but I have learnt not to be afraid to ask questions. Being brave and being open to learning new things will help you become comfortable with change!
Contributed by Thiviya Sri, Junior Client Executive, PRecious Communications
The importance of over-communication
Everyone stresses the value of communication and its significance in different walks of life, but few know the importance of over-communication.
One of the most pertinent advice I received at PRecious was to over-communicate. In these uncertain times, in-person interaction is slim to none. This increases the probability of miscommunication significantly. Such barriers to communication can prove to be very costly, especially in time-sensitive situations. Over communicating goes a long way in countering the threat of miscommunication as it helps the receiving party be in the know of things.
If communication is the problem, then over-communication is the solution.
Contributed by Rahul Mehta, Junior Client Executive, PRecious Communications
The value of open communication
Open communication has been the most relevant and valuable advice I have received here at PRecious. Having the ability to put your thoughts across clearly is stressed heavily, and I can understand why it’s essential.
Without proper communication, it becomes difficult to coordinate and collaborate with people because everyone is juggling several things simultaneously. Hence, I find it incredibly important to make sure one voices out so that everyone is on the same page. This really helps clear misconceptions which help the team move forward. Insufficient communication will hinder progress – for the self and the team, and that is advice I will always remember.
Contributed by S Priyashini, Junior Client Executive, PRecious Communications
Ask, and you shall receive
Being hesitant to ask questions has been my Achilles heel for the longest time. One advice that I will always take with me from my previous internship mentor will be “Ask, and you shall receive”, which encouraged me always to clarify any doubts to prevent miscommunication and misalignment of tasks.
Considering that there are several stakeholders in the PR industry, including but not limited to clients, journalists and colleagues, stepping in a whole new world of PR require being brave enough to ask questions.
Contributed by Julina Tay, Junior Client Executive, PRecious Communications
Setting intentions for effective communications
The job scope in the communication industry requires a significant amount of focus. From disseminating releases, monitoring coverages to maintaining internal and external communications, we are always responsible for promoting a positive public image.
One of the best advice from my mentor was to pen down and set my intentions before communicating anything. This ensures I am focused on the end outcome and not be distracted by other tasks. For example, when it is time to pitch for an opportunity for your client, we have to avoid distractions such as worrying about how one may react to you. Otherwise, you may begin to feel anxious, and words may not flow right, rendering you to become too “soft”. In other words, you need to have the intention of being prepared for this pitch.
Contributed by Jazin Wee, Junior Client Executive, PRecious Communications
Don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek clarification
One of the many privileges of being a Junior Business Development Executive is to participate in meetings with clients, alongside key members at PRecious. This is a rare opportunity not only to see how they interact but, more importantly, the intention behind them. Which brings me to the advice I received – don’t be afraid to ask or clarify.
It may seem obvious and may sound simple, but, especially as interns, I feel that we often take the backseat and do as we are told without a clear understanding of a task’s intention. Asking questions not only offers a different perspective but also provides clarity. What one understands or wants to achieve may not be in line with the other person’s intention. Having said, we must also practise asking the right question.
Contributed by Toh Liu Han, Junior Business Development Executive, PRecious Communications
Make it easy for others to help
As an intern in a fast-paced public relations agency, one has to monitor the news, respond to emails, write press releases and much more. Multiply that by five or the number of accounts that you are on. There’s not much breathing room to Google anything that’s not clear. When communicating an “ask” to someone, make it as easy as deciding to press a button.
Create a desire to press the “button” by ensuring that all the required information is laid out. It also has to be simple to understand without the need of much technical knowledge and prior interaction. Lastly, it is equally important to make that “button” as visible and easily accessible as possible. Indicate clearly what is needed to be done and how.
When you make it easy for others, you’re making it easy for yourself.
Contributed by Azrin Hamdan, Junior Client Executive, PRecious Communications
Learn to say no
I am lucky to have several mentors at PRecious Communications (my first internship) who are willing to share their wisdom.
One piece of advice that will stick with me forever is ‘learn to say no’. In a PR Agency, it is vital to manage expectations. Setting unrealistic expectations leads to unhappy clients and a stressed team.
On the other hand, our primary role is to be ‘PR consultants’. It is essential to know what kind of story will work and what type will not generate media interest. An understanding of the media landscape and the optimal strategy is what makes a good PR Consultant. A ‘yes-man’ never adds value to the organisation. If you think an idea doesn’t work, say no politely or at least provide a solid counter-argument and present your case.
Contributed by Aniket Gupta, Junior Client Executive, PRecious Communications