I’ll have what she’s having

Airport performance is evaluated by departure data, while airlines are ranked by accurate arrivals. CCOs will use Medicaid as a pilot program but expand to accommodate a larger population if the transition from the FFS model is successful. Microsites can be valuable to a large brand that needs to distinguish unique services or cater to a specific demographic. For the first time ever, the Oregon Food Bank distributed more than 1 million emergency food boxes to families in need.

That was likely the most disjointed statement you’ll read all day. So if you’re sitting there scratching your head and trying to connect the dots, you can stop. It’s not supposed to follow any pattern or logic.

Oddly enough, that’s how a typical day at a public relations agency tends to unfold. We constantly shift gears to accommodate new assignments, as these tiny nuggets of information organize to form a collective whole. Though my agency covers everything from health care reform to the airline industry, we must develop an expertise in the product or service offered by each individual client.  The success of a campaign depends upon nuanced research and a relentless pursuit of information – not to mention the occasional ability to “fake it.”

I don’t mean to imply that everyone in our industry feigns proficiency at his or her job. To effectively represent a client and communicate its value to stakeholders, you cannot get by on mere pretense. In fact, the professionals with whom I’ve interacted are all incredibly talented and dedicated to their work. They each possess the motivation and patience to succeed, understanding that the learning process is not a static, meaningless endeavor. It will be overwhelming at times, but re-education is vital to the comprehensive – if fragmented – knowledge that clients expect of their public relations team.

This is a beautiful thing: It means that each day will feel new. It means that each day will be a challenge. Most importantly, it means that each day you will leave the office a more capable employee than when you arrived that morning. Therein lies the value of our experience here in Portland.

Or you could just fake it and count down the minutes until happy hour:


By James Watkins

Thanks to Kelsey for letting me use her account to post this. I realized today that I was invited to join only as a viewer, not an author like everyone else. 😦

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6 Responses to I’ll have what she’s having

  1. I agree completely. Every day presents something new that embellishes our past experiences and makes us more capable communicators. Even just working in an office with a completely new set of faces and personalities has forced me to adapt and really think about how to connect with people most effectively. I had a moment of clarity walking up the street to my office on Friday. It is so incredibly awesome that we are actually doing these internships that heard and dreamed about as college freshman. We’re actually here!

  2. Great Post! Our education does not end in the classroom and perhaps the most valuable information and skills we’ll learn will be those we gain at our workplaces. I agree that it’s important to continue our learning especially outside of the classroom and the that education will be what makes us more capable and knowledgeable employees.
    It sounds like you’re getting exposed to a lot of different industries at your internship and will come out of it having learned a lot about a variety of fields!

  3. Wow, James! That was a really insightful post. You really brought it all together with your last paragraph. I think what really hit home for me was when you said “it means that each day you will leave the office a more capable employee than when you arrived that morning.” I truly believe that is the beauty of working in public relations: no two days are the same, and you continue learning day after day.
    Best of luck at your internship, it sounds like you’re doing fantastically and really thriving there!

  4. Allyson Will says:

    Great post! You are a really great writer! I sometimes can’t even imagine how fast paced the PR world is. I completely agree with your entire post. Although everything in the PR and news world is fast paced, everything adds up to help you in the long run. It is great that your company represents such a wide field of clients. That will be so beneficial to you in the long run! Congrats on your internship!

  5. pdxsx says:

    Good job, James. And nice save by Kelsey!


  6. Alysha Beck says:

    It’s great that there’s always something new to dive into at your internship. I think that’s one of the things that keeps work interesting. Even though it can be overwhelming at times, in the end you can feel like you really accomplished or learned something from the work you did. It sounds like you are getting some great experience in the fast-paced world of PR. Keep up the hard work and it will definitely pay off!

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