Virtual, Fast-Paced and Fun: A Day in the Life of Three Mission North Interns
Starting an internship over Zoom might not seem ideal, but it has given us the opportunity to learn fast and to dive deep into the wonderful new world of tech PR.
During our three-month internship at Mission North, we quickly realized remote working wasn’t as impersonal as we might have feared. Our virtual work environment didn’t hold us back from engaging with the fast pace of PR. Supported and encouraged by a team of empowered, genuine, and well-seasoned professionals, we have had the tools and insights to succeed in every task put in front of us.
Supported and encouraged by a team of empowered, genuine, and well-seasoned professionals, we have had the tools and insights to succeed in every task put in front of us.
Now, at the end of our internship, we wanted to reflect back on our newly refined skills and our completed projects which we’ve seen come to fruition through a combination of tasks, trials and achievements. Welcome to a day in our lives at Mission North!
Allie: As an East Coast employee, I am constantly reminding myself that my West Coast colleagues are not online when I sit down to start my day at 8:30 a.m. ET. After breakfast and feeding my dog Tucker and cat Daisy, I fill up my water bottle (I’m not a coffee person!) and open my laptop to prepare for the day ahead.
First up, I tackle as many as 30 unread emails related to my clients in Life Sciences and in Future Stack (emerging infrastructure and software vendors) as well as general agency announcements. I am fond of using Gmail’s labels and the email-turned-tasks features to help organize them.
My meeting schedule consists of client-facing and internal PR team syncs for brainstorming action items and anything related to our clients. I also have several weekly or bi-weekly meetings scheduled with mentors and my fellow interns, and the intern managers, Julia Kelson and Ali Ius. My colleagues, managers, and mentors have been a tremendous help as we transition into the PR industry.
When not in meetings, I work on building media lists of the reporters we’ll pitch news to as well as scan online tech publications to flag the latest stories relating to my clients, their competitors, and the market they all serve. This information helps to fuel client brainstorming sessions around positioning their messaging and latest news.
By the time I take my lunch break, and take the dog for a walk, Antoinette and Alex are just starting their workday over on the West Coast.
Antoinette: When Alex and I are making our coffee and breakfast, Allie already has three hours of work behind her. As my coffee ferments in my French press, I start scanning the web for the latest updates in tech and software development trends.
While every morning starts with coffee, each workday is strikingly different. Some days call for curating media lists; others involve creating pitches to send to those contacts. We have many meetings, but they are crucial for us all to bounce new ideas off one another.
Internally, we may meet to discuss the next steps in developing a press release, building out research on a new media strategy, or determining which interview opportunities are a good match for our clients. I often participate in external client meetings, which can be a somewhat surreal experience as I listen to company executives candidly share their PR needs.
We all have intersecting roles in securing that next pitch or landing that great speaking opportunity all for the betterment of our clients. For me, this is the beauty of public relations: The end goal is the same, but the tasks to get there vary each and every day.
Alex: Each day, I produce news scans covering a range of competitors and industry peers that inform our proactive PR campaigns. These scans have helped me to quickly get up to speed with the e-commerce landscape and familiarize myself with relevant reporters and their publications. We also share the news scans with our clients as a helpful resource, which has boosted my confidence in producing client-facing deliverables.
Metrics reporting powers Mission North’s operations and I’ve had the opportunity to receive extremely valuable training and hands-on experience with some of the most accurate tools in the industry. For example, we use TrendKite to measure our share of voice coverage and so showcase the impact of the work we complete each month to our clients.
Throughout the summer, Mission North has found strategic, thoughtful ways to keep us engaged with the agency. As I sit at the desk in my bedroom each day, I have felt a connection to the community in ways I had never expected.
Weekly internal team meetings, check-ins with my manager and virtual coffee dates have allowed me to form relationships with a mix of people across the agency. These relationships have enriched my work, making me comfortable about asking questions and sharing my ideas.
What is it like starting a new job remotely?
In a field as personable as PR, we were simultaneously nervous and excited about having to use a medium as impersonal as video chatting for meetings. Since our college education this past year had shifted online, we were somewhat prepared in advance for communicating virtually.
We three set up our own Slack channel to stay connected throughout our internship. Working virtually in a brand-new career, we wanted to be easily able to check in with each other and to share tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way.
Without the digital shift to remote working, we may not have been as willing and as able to connect if based in physical office locations. In a way, remote working has brought us closer not only to each other but as an organization. The power of video chatting unites us, regardless of where we are geographically.
In a way, remote working has brought us closer not only to each other but as an organization.
We find that monthly Zoom meetings are pivotal to staff morale and organizational development, and advance our understanding of the agency culture. These meetings range from all-hands check-ins, learning sessions from outside experts, and internal training in areas such as pitch writing, design, and media.
We tend to pop in and out of Slack constantly and the communications tool enables us all to work together. We also get to construct and curate our company culture through a mix of informative and more eclectic channels from #pets to #whatscooking, which allow us to get to know each other in new, creative ways.
What excites you the most about a potential career in PR?
Working at an agency like Mission North has introduced us to a wide range of organizations that have distinct goals, including startups keen to gain media attention and established companies looking to rebrand. It is our goal, as an agency, to develop and execute innovative and skillful plans that align with our client’s values to accomplish those needs and desires.
This agency always welcomes new ideas as the basis for future frameworks or new directions. This truly is a collaborative environment that encourages you to present your own thoughts and ideas to work on as a team. Beyond team motivation, we are set up to succeed in our roles. Office hours are plentiful, account leads live edit and provide immediate feedback on projects, and anything and everything you can think of needing to know can be found in an organized cloud drive full of best practices.
This truly is a collaborative environment that encourages you to present your own thoughts and ideas to work on as a team.
One of Mission North’s key values is ‘Come As You Are,’ a core principle that resonates with all three of us in having big ideas but then being unsure how to implement them. Our team is awash with new ideas, which we can all test out and rework.
Here, we collaborate fully, across practice sectors and with our content, social and digital colleagues, all of which help us grow as public relations professionals. That’s what we enjoy about tech PR: it is an industry that is synergetic, constantly evolving, and magnificent in its range of projects.
Are you interested in joining the Mission North team? We’re hiring! Check out our open positions here.