PR grads share their internship 'horror stories'

PR grads share their internship 'horror stories'
SHARE
THIS



Public relations is a magnet for gregarious communication graduates due to its image as a sexy and glamorous occupation. The reality is anything but for PR interns.

A number of current and former interns used B&T’s survey ‘Adland: An Intern’s Perspective’ as a chance to air their grievances and to name-and-shame the “intern abusers”.

Of those who took part in the survey, 95% completed unpaid work in PR. Unpaid placements also ran much longer than paid ones.

Up to six months (38%) and up to two months (37%) were identified as the most common running times for unpaid placements within the PR industry.

It is important to keep in mind however that these arrangements may have occurred on a one or two day a week basis over that time period.

That duration is slashed to up to two weeks (50%) and one month or less (50%) for paid grad work.

The majority of comments which mentioned PR were also negative.

One participant said: “Long hours, unpaid labour. Was also made to use my own car and petrol and run errands all around the city every week without reimbursement for travelling costs. Overall terrible treatment from the PR industry.”

Another added: “I felt I was taken advantage of. My work experience lasted for 16 months but I had to wait another year before I was offered a full time paid graduate position.”

One person shared a story about travelling from Melbourne to Sydney for an unpaid internship within a prominent Sydney PR firm.  They covered all of their own travel and accommodation expenses and was left to organise the agency’s store room before being thanked for the “free labour” when the month was over.

Another said they were employed on condition that they complete a six-month unpaid internship. They were given $8 a day to cover transport costs but their work was charged out to clients at the rate of $200 an hour.

Andrea Kerekes, chief executive of Access PR, branded these situations “horror stories” and said PR firms need to realise that grads can be “valuable contributors”.

“The agencies think that they are offering more than they are receiving. Or at least can go to sleep at night pretending this is the case,” she said in her opinion piece. For more click here.

Interestingly, despite the horror stories, 58% of unpaid interns still said their placements were more valuable to themselves and not the employer.

Unpaid placements are also common place in media agencies, with 83% of survey respondents saying they completed unpaid internships within media agencies.

The most common duration for unpaid media placements was identified as up to two months and up to six months (33%) while 40% of paid placements ran for up to six months.

Half of those who undertook unpaid work were then offered paid employment.

Unpaid interns did however say that their employer benefited more than themselves (54%) the remaining 46% said they gained the most from their placements.

Katie Rigg-Smith, Mindshare CEO, told B&T last week that both parties, interns and agencies, need to manage expectations to ensure they are both benefitting. For more on her response to the figures click here.

These figures are pulled from the 300-plus responses to B&T’s report, for the full story click here.

See how the treatment of PR and media agency interns compares to digital and marketing.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Highsnobiety Partners With Citizens Of Culture To Help Lead Its Media Partnerships In Australia
  • Media

Highsnobiety Partners With Citizens Of Culture To Help Lead Its Media Partnerships In Australia

Culture-leading publisher Highsnobiety continues to evolve its local operations with the appointment of Citizens of Culture as its strategic partner across media operations within Australia.  Highsnobiety is a premium global brand dedicated to cultural pioneers, with work spanning across digital platforms, print media, documentaries, cutting edge events, a shopping platform and a full service creative […]

Investigation Reveals That Amazon Destroys Thousands Of Dollars Of Unsold Stock, Including Laptops, TVs And Face Masks
  • Technology

Investigation Reveals That Amazon Destroys Thousands Of Dollars Of Unsold Stock, Including Laptops, TVs And Face Masks

An investigation by British broadcaster ITV has found that Amazon is destroying millions of items in unsold or returned stock. The report specifically focuses on one of the 24 warehouses the company has in the UK. According to ITV News, the destroyed items are largely unused and new, either returned items or those which never […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Witchery Partners With GlamCorner To Boost Subscription Shopping
  • Media

Witchery Partners With GlamCorner To Boost Subscription Shopping

Australian fashion brand Witchery has partnered with B Corp GlamCorner as part of GlamCorner’s subscription box offering as the demand for everyday essentials soars. This partnership marks another milestone for the Australian fashion industry towards becoming more circular and introducing more paths to reduce textile waste. Customers nationally will be able to rent more of […]

Curry Club For COVID-19 Relief, Powered By UnLtd, Challenges AdLand To Raise $100,000
  • Marketing
  • Media

Curry Club For COVID-19 Relief, Powered By UnLtd, Challenges AdLand To Raise $100,000

The media, marketing and creative industries are being encouraged to host their own ‘Curry Club for COVID’ before 30th June to help meet the ambitious $100k target set by its organisers. Curry Club for COVID, which was conceived by long-time adtech executive Peter Bray, sales director at Impact, and is powered by industry social purpose organisation […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
UnLtd’s ‘Goals for Good’ Soccer Tournament Celebrates 10 Years
  • Media

UnLtd’s ‘Goals for Good’ Soccer Tournament Celebrates 10 Years

The UnLtd Cup is returning for its tenth consecutive year, marking a decade of soccer shenanigans that’s raised nearly $500,000 for children’s mental health charity, KidsXpress. On July 22-23rd, 28 teams from across the industry will battle it out on the soccer field in the two-day tournament at Sydney University Sports and Fitness Centre, Darlington. […]

Mobile Pnone Shopping Online With A Debit Card
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Ultra Commerce Acquires Vesta eCommerce

Australian-bred company Ultra Commerce has acquired New Zealand-based company Vesta eCommerce, a global software business providing leading product data management solutions. The recent acquisition is a significant move for the business, which is Australian born, owned, and headquartered, but has built out a global presence as it pursues rapid growth in the eCommerce market. Connecting […]

Crater Teams Up With Director Luna Laure For ‘Harry’s Story’, Canteen’s Newest Campaign
  • Campaigns

Crater Teams Up With Director Luna Laure For ‘Harry’s Story’, Canteen’s Newest Campaign

Canteen’s latest campaign features the combined talents of Director Luna Laure and creative agency Crater. The campaign strives to raise awareness for young people affected by cancer. The awareness campaign centres around Harry Barentson, who at 12 years of age found out his pregnant mum had cancer. The campaign aims to bring awareness to Canteen’s […]