Sample Public Relations Internship Cover Letter
A strong cover letter is essential for job applications in any field, but in public relations (PR), it's one of the biggest factors considered. PR is all about effective communication and companies and agencies are looking for top-notch talent who are fantastic writers. Your cover letter is a chance to show off your writing chops and demonstrate your skills.
What to Include in Your Cover Letter
Don't rehash your resume; your cover letter should take things a step further and explain how you can successfully fill the job's responsibilities based on your background and experience.
Whether you managed a major event as a school club president or wrote a press release for a local non-profit, this is an opportunity to highlight your best work.
You should also demonstrate your knowledge of the company and your interest; don't use a template version. Include a mention of a recent PR event they held or a press conference they ran to show them you are up to date with their work. Taking these extra steps will set you apart as an outstanding candidate.
Sample Cover Letter for a PR Internship
New York, NY, 12000
516 – 352-6000
March 2, 20XX
NYU Hiring Coordinator
58 Columbia Circle
New York NY 12000
Dear Ms. Johnson:
Please accept my application for the Public Relations internship position recently posted on New York University’s website. I am currently an Assistant in the Career Services Office, which is where I heard of this great opportunity for your internship. Public relations is an area I am very interested in and I believe that interning at Katnow would provide me with a real world experience in a field that I enjoy.
Working in various offices on campus, such as Career Services and Residential Life, I have gained valuable skills that can be useful in any office environment. My daily tasks involve general office work, in addition to publicizing both offices to students.
I have the ability to learn quickly and work well with clients that come into the office as well as over the phone. Being an officer for multicultural organization on campus, I have developed excellent teamwork skills in order to accomplish club goals and have often taken on the challenging task of advertising club events and gaining student body participation.
Along with these skills, I am a responsible and respectful individual who takes pride in his work. I am also accustomed to taking the lead on projects when necessary. My role as peer mentor has furthered my ability to take responsibility and to develop my skills as a leader of my peers. These experiences have helped me to enhance my social skills as well as work with my peers on a variety of different levels.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I will contact you in a few days to discuss my qualifications. Also, I will be in New York City during spring break the week of March 11th – March 15th and would welcome the opportunity to speak or meet with you during this time. I look forward to speaking with you about this internship opportunity.
Congrats to the graduating class! If you are among the many feverishly sending out your resume to fashion PR agencies (our firm‘s inbox has been flooded in the last few weeks), take a moment to review the following helpful hints to ensure your application makes the cut!
Please do your research
At minimum, review the agency website, and take note of how they describe themselves, the tone and any recent news. Do a quick search to locate any recent articles, press releases or awards the agency has won. Demonstrate through your cover letter (or email intro) that you understand what the company is about and are up to date on recent news. Ask friends or professors for additional information about the firm’s reputation, community involvement, etc.
Hiring managers will be impressed (and relieved) to find someone who has obviously researched before she resume’d! When you make time to get to know a potential employer, they are more likely to take the time to get to know you. This will not only help to prepare you for an interview if you do receive a call back, but it also shows that you have taken an interest in the company you hope to work for one day.
Review and revise your introduction email
There is simply no excuse for a poorly written email introduction. Anyone that submits a cringe-worthy cover letter is immediately disregarded – after all, PR is all about communication. How can a company trust you to communicate on behalf of clients if you can’t click the spell check button! Write your cover letter and then save it as a draft and come back to it later – our eyes are notorious for filling in little errors, and taking some time away from your words can help ensure your communication is error-free.
Think of it this way, if all the skills are the same between you and another candidate. You both have similar work experience, education and an immense amount of enthusiasm at your interviews but one of you has a typo in his/her cover letter, resume or writing test…who is more likely to get the job?
Meet & greet with manners
“Hey” is not a proper greeting. If you can’t find contact info (which may showcase your research abilities or lack of ~ research skills are also critical in PR!), try “Dear HR Director” or “Dear Hiring Manager,” etc if you really cannot find the proper person to email. For smaller firms, use the CEO or principals name if you don’t have the name of anyone there and are just reaching out to an info address.
Tip: If you’re applying to a PR firm, it’s likely there is a press release floating around in cyber space that references a name and current title of someone at the firm where you are applying. Also, a phone call to an agency to ask whom to address the letter to is also appropriate (as long as the job posting does not specify “no calls.”)
Let your personality come through
While you want to keep your communication professional, don’t become so formulaic as to create a cover letter that could come from anyone, anywhere. What is it about you – your goals, experience and skills that make you an ideal candidate? And what is it about you – your personality, values and interests that make you an ideal person to work with?
When you land a call back or interview, be authentic. At entry-level, there is no benefit to you to act like you know more, or have done more, than you do. If you have a tendency to “embellish” a little, don’t.
Show your enthusiasm for clients, projects and tasks and demonstrate quick-thinking and learning rather than pretending you understand something you don’t. It may sound counter-intuitive, but asking questions and admitting you don’t know something is an attractive quality in a potential employee! As opposed to pretending you know how to do something that you don’t. Your lack of knowledge or understanding will show and may make you out to be a less than flattering candidate. It’s alright to still be learning, especially in an intern role or entry-level position.
Shhh on Social Media
Many candidates focus on securing an interview and forget that the interview process continues right up until you sign on the dotted line! Follow-up your interview within a day or two with a hand-written thank you note. If all things are the same between you and another candidate (i.e. solid education, great work/internship experience, superb writing and communication skills, pleasant personality, etc.), a thank-you note or e-mail after an interview may be the one deciding factor.
Also, stay mum on your social channels (anyone else see that episode of Kell on Earth?). Assume that agencies will be following your Twitter account (hopefully you have set your Facebook privacy settings), blog and Linkedin so use that to your advantage by demonstrating your interest in PR news, participation in PR chats, etc.
Bonus Tip: That Passion for Fashion? We know all about it…
If you’re going to work in fashion PR, yes, we want to know that you llloooovvveee fashion, but understand that loving fashion is only one part of the industry. We always say that “working” in fashion is…well, “working” in fashion. It requires the same basic skill sets that other employers require and it’s not all sparkle and glamour. Demonstrate a willingness to work hard, pull your weight, and commit to helping clients succeed and you will already have a leg up on the competition!
When you accept an internship or job, even if it’s not your “dream” internship or job, be a team player. Working in PR requires the ability to think on your feet and adapt quickly. Be open to learning and growing wherever you are, and you’ll be an excellent addition to your employer’s team and build skills that you will have wherever you are in your professional fashion career.
Find Fashion PR Jobs
Some great places to seek internships and job opportunities are available right here at PR Couture (and make sure to read our Getting In series to learn about how others landed their first fashion PR jobs).
Photo Credit: Merrimack College