Treat interns in same way as full-time staff says CIPR and industry leaders
Interns should be managed in the same way as full-time members of staff according to the latest guidance from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and leaders of the public relations profession. Other key recommendations within the CIPR’s ‘Internship and Work Placement’ toolkit include the need for employers to ensure their work placements are open to the widest pool of talent available and that whilst in place, interns have full and equal access to learning and development opportunities.
As a profession, we should aim to balance the need to ensure that internships are open to all those who show potential as well as a keen desire to break into the industry, without making it harder for employers to offer opportunities to those seeking valuable work experience.
The Public Relations Consultants’ Association has already undertaken some tremendous work on the issue of unpaid internships and this toolkit complements it by striving for excellence in learning and development for those considering a career in public relations. It is now for employers, recruiters and HR managers – those responsible for developing future practitioners – to show leadership by taking these recommendations on board.
I’ve always found that providing interns with the opportunity to gain an understanding of what it is to work in our global and award-winning public relations agency is an invaluable experience for both ourselves and the intern. Work placements help open up the profession to students and graduates – they shine a light on an industry which offers an exciting and challenging career in an environment which combines stimulating work with the need to be creative, flexible and client focused. As a profession, by taking these recommendations forward and opening up our doors to those who show the real potential, my hope is that many more of the most talented young people will choose to pursue a career in public relations.
Finding the dream job is always tough, but recently, for many graduates, finding an entry level role in their chosen industry is just as hard. My internship at Northern Lights PR allowed me to work on projects for companies such as Hallmark, Northern Rail and Bradford University. It also provided me with new skills and the opportunity to meet people from within the industry that were happy to help me find my feet. After completing the internship, I found that I had a new burst of energy and confidence.
I’d recommend all graduates who are struggling to find their dream job apply for an internship. As an intern, you will gain relevant experience and have an opportunity to network with people from within the industry and find individuals that are willing to help and mentor you during the early stages of your career. I believe where I am today may not have been possible without that first internship opportunity.
Notes to editors
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).