In this intern update, we are happy to introduce to you to Gianni Lai, a previous Public Relations Intern during our 2015 Spring Cycle. Since her internship here at YOakleyPR, Gianni moved from Austin, Texas to New York City to pursue a career in public relations and international affairs.
How did you enter this field?
I actually heard about virtual internships from a mentor in college. I majored in International Relations and had no idea what PR was. YOakleyPR was my step into PR, and I’ve never left.
What has your career path been like?
Starting my career late–as I didn’t decide to do PR until my senior year–really hurt in a sense of timing. However, with PR, it’s all about experience and perseverance.
Right after college, I interned in Houston for a month while still applying for internships and jobs- I was given the wonderful opportunity to intern in New York City. The stars aligned and I was able to intern at a boutique agency, and since then, held one more internship then finally landing a full time job.
Could you tell us more about your current position? How did you come to the company and what is your current job title?
My current position is a Design & Lifestyle Coordinator at Karla Otto, which is an international PR company mostly known for their fashion.
Can you provide a brief description of your job? What kind of problems do you deal with and what are the decisions that you make?
I am in a team of four and I split our ten design and lifestyle clients between another coordinator and myself. We report to our manager, and we all report to the account director.
There are times when a client may not give you the information and images we need for editors, and so you have to play middle the ground and think of other ways in which editors can include a clients into their stories.
What do you enjoy the most about your current role and what do you think is the most challenging tasks/projects you have ever done?
PR in the design and lifestyle industry is very different from the consumer PR that I am used to! It’s a whole new world, in terms of the editors that actually respond (i.e. luxury magazines, high end magazines like Vogue) and the events that we attend (hopefully I get to go to Italy with the rest of the team next year!).
It’s definitely a learning curve educating myself on all the differences in the industry and I do think that is the most challenging part, but it’s also the most fun part because PR is never boring since you can go into so many different industries.
How do you see this field changing in the future?
As we see already, the digital world has a strong impact on PR. Long lead titles have closed, we see the rise in bloggers and influencer relations, and that is just the beginning. Who knows what will happen, but I do see everyone relying on short lead titles more… maybe even apps at some point.
Is there something you wish you had known or a skill you wish you had started out in the marketing/PR or graphic design industry? Is there something you wish you had done differently starting out?
I wish I was able to hone in my pitching skills in terms of having my own voice that editors don’t read my e-mails and think it’s very.. structured. Having a more conversational voice helps.
Do you have any advice for YOakleyPR Marketing/PR interns? How would you advise our Marketing/PR interns to plan their future?
Use your networking skills! It really helps and triple check your work. This is something that I definitely do mess up on!
Do you know of an inspirational quote or saying that you would like to share?
“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”- while you should be triple checking, also don’t be afraid to be proactive and make mistakes! Ask questions. Like I said before, PR is all about experience so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
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If you would like to learn more about YOakleyPR’s award-winning Virtual Internship Program, please visit our “Internships” page for more information.