Tag Archives: Parliament

Good Press/Bad Press is there really such a thing?

photo 4“Never worry about bad press: All that matters is if they spell your name right.” -Kate Hudson

This summer when I was working in parliament, the deputy I was working for received some bad press. It wasn’t the truth. While the newspaper apologized and fixed it, my boss said this: “if they are saying something bad about you, you know you’re doing something right.”

Good press/bad press, is there really such a thing? I’m serious. I’m going to be flat out honest and say I truly don’t know. I just started a media ethics class this semester so I have no idea. I thought I did but after my second class I wasn’t so sure.

People normally perceive the media as dishonest, their version of the truth, etc. I can tell you right now that isn’t always the truth. Did you know the New York Times has an ethics code over 140 pages long? Yes, most ethics codes are not even near that. However, it doesn’t mean the media is a cesspool of sleazy journalists. We went to college people! We studied the art of journalism for four years! Was it easy? No. I am a junior and I went to bed at 2 a.m. last night because I had class until 9 p.m. It was also the second day of class.

Ok, paparazzi are one spectrum. They follow important public figures around and try to find dirt because it sells. Be honest, most Americans love a scandal. It’s what some people thrive on. Sad? Yes, but you can’t change people.

If you look back at the 20s and 30s, that was sleazy journalism. Remember yellow journalism? Journalists today are much, much more ethical than they were back then. Are we saints? No. Do I have a conscience? Yes. The point of all this is, publicity can be good or bad. I do agree with my boss in the way that even though you are doing something right as a public figure, the press will still find something. Not all journalists are sleazy. It’s not the only field with sleaze-balls in it…. Wall Street, lawyers…. there are sleazy people everywhere and in every profession. Your job as a reader? Determine who is who, once you do that correctly you’ll see the beauty that is journalism.

These flats are ruining my feet because I am tripping every five seconds. I swear the bricks on college green move! However, I am not walking around a cobblestone campus in heels… that would hurt more.

x KMSH

You’re an Intern right? Where’s my coffee?

IMG_0556Okay, the general stereotype is that interns get coffee. After 3-5 internships/PR related jobs I can tell you that is not true. If all you do is make copies and get coffee, I’m sorry you have a crappy internship. I am not saying you should be one of those entitled interns who thinks they can do anything and are awesome at what they do. When I was really homesick one day I had one of those moments… thankfully my mom snapped me back into reality through a harsh but needed email. Doing something totally new without any direction is scary, remember my previous post? I had to call medical card and disability services, along with all of these other departments. I had no idea what I was doing. I got frustrated, mad, and all I wanted to do was go home. Like home, home. I said I am not here to do this, this is not PR-related. I was a brat. An entitled little brat, which is how a lot of college students are ending up these days… and according to my mom they make up the unemployment rate for college grads.

coffee

One of the other interns in my program has her first internship this summer. She hasn’t really learned any PR-skills yet but I can’t help but feel sorry for her. She has to do the dishes, buy all of the newspapers for the office, clean up after work and close up. Her main job is putting the newspaper clippings about clients into the computer. She continuously tells me, it’s my first internship so it’s okay. Funny thing is, is that I was originally offered this internship and turned it down.

I wasn’t going to pay all of this money to simply answer phones. Unpaid interns are taken for granted but when I have the skill set and some experience, it would be nice to feel like you’re being put to good use. Not being the office b*. I did advise her that if she doesn’t learn anything soon to just ask and say “Hey, I would really like to learn about this.” Internships are supposed to be a learning experience (don’t forget that Starbucks-run intern).

You will make copies, do busy work, answer phones, make annoying calls and maybe get your boss coffee. However, if it’s the right internship you will also get to do actual work. I started out by creating a media database and mailing lists. Looking up every single pub in my T.D.’s county took almost two days with having to make mailing labels. Now I feel good that he has an entire filing cabinet drawer full of different mailing lists and he will always know that I did all of that. So what if you don’t get to write a press release or social media post right away? Your time will come. If it’s your first internship and you don’t really have the skill set yet, please do not let yourself be the office b* but ask questions and be engaged. You may receive more work if they see you are willing to put in the hard work and learn.

After a few weeks of busy work I now write his press releases and press statements. I am currently in the midst of putting together his first newsletter. I write parliamentary questions on his behalf (he doesn’t even need me to read them back to him anymore), write letters to constituents, write speeches, advise him on social media and many other PR-related tasks. Today my boss said, if I win the lotto tomorrow I am going to give you a piece of paper and you will write down the amount I need to pay you each week to keep you here until I quit politics. It was nice to hear that I have done a great job. Interns are highly underestimated. It’s all work and no pay but one day you’ll look at your office intern and say, I know exactly how you feel. Now where’s my coffee?

x KMSH

P.S. Have you checked out Lauren Berger’s book ‘All Work No Pay’? She’s the queen of interns and it’s on my summer reading list!

 

Internships can be scary

I have always been told that there are parts of your internship that will freak you out a little but on Wednesday I had a shocking yet frightening task to do: writing a speech for my boss to use in parliament. As soon as he walked out of the room, I immediately started cursing to myself. He had 10 minutes to speak and I had to write the entire speech on an abortion legislation going through the Dáil right now. The first challenge was writing about something I have an opposite viewpoint on and the second was actually writing the speech.

Luckily I did have research from another Deputy that was given to me to use as a source and I know my T.D.’s style. At first I was having trouble with the length. The issue could have been talked about in four minutes but in the end, my boss said he could talk for another half hour if he wanted to.

My first draft: too short. Second draft: grammar/editing mistakes. Third draft’s a charm, or so I thought. It turned out my boss was later given 20 minutes after I had already left work. He was also given extra time on his other speech that night as well. When I did walk in to the office the next morning and he had said it went well and was able to add things/make it work I felt so relieved. I sunk in my chair for a second just enthralled that it went well.

Moral of the story here is there are tasks you will have to do at your internship that will scare you and you will be cursing to yourself. The fact that I wrote a speech that was used in Parliament was a pretty big deal for me and I may have the chance to do it again since my boss liked it.

One thing I will tell you and it’s a little hypocritical, but don’t be afraid. You can for the first few seconds but then focus, put on your big girl/big boy pants and get to work. Your internship is meant to challenge you, so if you are scared/nervous you must be doing something right.

This is why you should always wear high heels when you are scared, they are the understated weapon and you’ll still look good while freaking out on the inside.

x KMSH

Politicians never sleep and their interns never stop working

Hey Readers, so I’ve only been here almost a week and I’ve been extremely busy at my internship. Politicians NEVER sleep… my boss will come into work early and leave super late then go to more meetings after that. Politicians really don’t sleep and I don’t sleep when I’m at school but to do it for 50+ years, I don’t know about that. I know having a career in public relations can be stressful but there is always the choice between social life and sleep. Sleep is helpful, a social life is helpful, both are helpful but it’s a pick and choose kind of situation.

Why am I telling you this? Well if you ever consider a career in public relations your stressful, sleep deprived life begins in college so here’s a few tips to keep yourself on track:

1) Create a schedule. This can often be forgotten. Use your iCal, Gmail, outlook, day planner, Evernote, whatever you need to create a schedule you can stick to. I will have all of my important dates on my iCal and some days I will have 8 things on my to do list it but it’s organized and all in one place. Update it often and don’t forget to check it. Sometimes when I don’t put something on my iCal I forget about it because it isn’t there in front of me. Keep a schedule updated and ready for you to follow.

2) Make sure you are taking care of yourself. I have issues following this one too, no worries. When you have class, work and meetings, taking care of yourself is the LAST thing on your to-do list. It’s OK to say no, but your body and mind will thank you later.

3) Understand that superwoman had a weakness too. Being a superstar in your field is hard and takes a lot of energy and strength. If you have to say no to something because you are overloaded with work, studying or other obligations, again, it’s OK. Being able to point out yourself that you can’t do everything will allow you to focus on producing quality work in a timely fashion but also show that you are strong enough to say, I may be a PR superwoman but I can’t do it all.

These tips seem pretty simple and things that everyone knows but actually following through is a different story. I am trying to learn how to follow these tips myself but my hopes are high and my optimism strong.

This girl bought short heels for work… against my morals but these streets were not made for 4 inch heels but since the heels are shorter, my hopes and dreams will only grow higher and higher.

Keep checking back for more readers, and let me know what you want me to blog about!

x KMSH