My TBC Internship: Learning PR Inside and Outside the Classroom

By: Samantha Zicker, Fall 2022 – Spring 2023 TBC Intern

As a second semester senior at Rowan University, I’ve had my fair share of public relations and advertising classes. Only recently have I been able to experience a true taste of agency life by interning at Thomas/Boyd Communications (TBC). While my college classes have taught me so much about the industry, interning at TBC has allowed me to experience it firsthand.

Something that immediately struck me was the difference in the writing process between a classroom and agency setting. In my PR classes at Rowan, papers are assigned to students for professors to edit only once and sent back with a final grade. Rarely is there an opportunity for students to edit their own papers after it has been reviewed. When writing anything, such as a press release, for an agency, it goes through multiple rounds of proofreading and editing before final approval. I’ve learned that having a fresh set of eyes to look over your writing is so valuable to the process.

Interning at TBC has also taught me that knowing a client’s voice is super important. Working in an agency means working on multiple clients who use different voices. The client’s voice is their brand and should be consistent across all platforms, such as their website, news releases, etc. Finding the right voice is crucial, not only in writing, but also for social media content as well. In class, we’ve learned the rules of PR-style writing, but professors typically encourage students to maintain our own personal writing style for papers.

One of the most important things I’ve learned about public relations is how important social media really is to a brand. In 2023, social media can make or break your company, and public relations is about creating a strong brand platform. In my PR classes, professors emphasize writing releases and news stories, and they focus less on the social media aspect of the field. Writing social media content for various clients requires another set of writing skills and tuning into the client voice and brand. By interning at TBC, I have a better understanding of how to use social media to help establish a brand.

While my four years of public relations and advertising education at Rowan has taught me so much about the field, my internship at Thomas/Boyd Communications has allowed me to see public relations in a new light and put my knowledge to the test. I value my agency experience not only because I was able to put the skills I have learned in the classroom to use as an intern at TBC, but I feel even more prepared to enter the PR world upon graduation.