“Brrrrring! Brrrrrrrrring!” Everyone in the morning meeting fell quiet and listened as Andrianna picked up the office phone. She answered, “Hello, this is Philly PR Girl (PPRG)! Yes, we do manage social accounts. Let’s set up a meeting to chat.” These interrupting calls had become second nature to the women at PPRG. The office phone never stood silent for long, since prospective clients called frequently to look into PR services, social media management, and event planning options. Although the employees in the office received calls, texts, emails, and DMs at all hours, they were never phased. They understood that the Internet never sleeps, and neither does Philly!
This semester, I interned at Philly PR Girl as a digital media assistant. I first learned of the company when they reached out to me last year to do freelance influencer work for one of their clients. I looked into the agency and learned that it was a small, woman-run business with a beautiful office in Center City. After seeing their aesthetic Instagram feed, which features their employees working, attending client events, and meeting local celebrities, I knew that I wanted to work with PPRG. I applied to intern in the spring of 2021 and was soon accepted as an intern for the upcoming fall.
I never expected to be creating promotional TikToks for a dental office, but that became one of my favorite projects at the internship! I helped our digital media coordinator plan clients’ social media feeds, write captions, design digital graphics, and create video content for TikTok and Instagram Reels. I also wrote blogs for the PPRG website, attended client events such as Philadelphia Fashion Week, assisted with photoshoots, and helped plan a giant tailgate! Since PPRG is a small company, I got to assist with many different aspects of PR and social media. I also learned how to use programs including Canva, Adobe Lightroom, CoverageBook, and Facebook Ads.
One of my favorite parts of the internship was learning how a media agency works. Every morning, all the employees would have a meeting with Kate Marlys, the owner of PPRG, where we would all share what we were working on for the day. This helped me learn what the day-to-day schedule looked like for PR coordinators and event planners. The open plan of the office also helped me learn about the business since I got to listen to the staff while they talked to prospective and current clients. Before this internship, I didn’t really know how PR worked. Now I know that PR professionals are adept at writing press releases, sending media alerts, pitching stories to news outlets, organizing influencer events and so much more.
It can be intimidating to step out of an academic environment and begin working at a professional agency. However, the women at Philly PR Girl made this transition very smooth. Shannon Pepe, my supervisor, was instrumental to my learning and growth at the company. In addition to working in the office, Shannon and I could be found driving throughout the Greater Philadelphia Area as we traveled to client photoshoots at Rittenhouse Dentists and City Fitness. I especially loved creating funny client Reels on our shoot days.
I gained self-confidence at Philly PR Girl and cherished my time with my co-workers, whether we were working hard in the office, enjoying a charcuterie spread at a client event, or throwing a luxury tailgate near Lincoln Financial Field. I learned how to plan out social media calendars, write copy for Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter, and communicate professionally with clients. I am so thankful for this experience and look forward to continuing my career in the media industry!