Hi! I’m Annika Kim, Strategic Objective’s newest intern. I just graduated from the Schulich School of Business where I majored in marketing. During my last semester of university, I went to Milan on an exchange, where I took courses in luxury fashion business and communications. I’m also a fashion and beauty social media content creator. It started as a hobby during lockdown, but quickly gained traction and I grew a positive community of more than 80K followers on Instagram and TikTok. This sparked my interest in PR and that’s how I ended up here!
There were a few things that stood out to me about SO that were crucial in my decision to accept the internship:
- Emphasis on culture and work-life balance: It was clear during the interview process that this is an important part of culture at SO. The office closes early every Friday, and the SO Culture Club holds many fun in-office afternoon events for the team.
- Awards and Accolades: SO is established in the field and excellent at what they do. The agency was recently named IABC Toronto Agency of the Year, and I knew I wanted to contribute to the work they do.
- Campaign Creativity: some of my favourites are the Oreo 100th Birthday Celebration and the Pringles DIPbate Newsjacking Extraordinaire.
This is my first PR role, and there are goals I wanted to achieve during my time at SO:
- Get more familiar with the PR industry.
- Figure out what type of accounts and industries I’m most interested in.
- Master the PR tools used for monitoring and tracking results.
- Make meaningful contributions that drive campaign results.
Every day is different in the PR world, and you get to work on so many different types of accounts, so you’re NEVER bored. Throughout my internship, I’ve worked on eight different accounts and contributed to each in a different way.
I especially enjoyed working with influencers for our Loacker US’ Thanksgiving, and Tortina Mini launch campaigns. I got to put my FBI skills to good use determining which influencers were the best fit for the brand. I also added my own creative flare by developing themes and concepts for influencer mailer kits!
SO prioritizes its talent’s learning and growth with as many learning opportunities as possible. During my internship, all SO interns had the opportunity to attend some of SO’s most exciting client events even if they weren’t actively working on the account.
It was a thrill to attend and assist at the Watier’s 30th Anniversary celebration where we launched the new Neige perfume. It was so surreal to see first-hand how the event came to life, from set-up to execution. I also invited attended the Benjamin Moore new Colour of the Year 2023 Reveal preview at CityLine TV. Having never worked in media before, I was fascinated by everything – especially the ginormous cameras and the multiple segment set-ups all in one room. I even made my first TV appearance as an audience member! Both experiences really cemented the fact that I want to take part in many more client events throughout my career.
Of course, not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Since this was my first time working in PR, let alone at an agency, everything was new to me, and I had to do a lot of learning and adjusting. My biggest challenge was getting comfortable with the PR landscape while simultaneously working on multiple accounts. It was overwhelming at times but taught me valuable time management skills and how to prioritize tasks more effectively.
I practiced effective communication to overcome challenges by:
- Asking my account leads when I should aim to complete each task in order to prioritize accounts – to visualize this, I’d list out all my tasks for the day and number them based on priority
- Regularly communicating on my task updates, and letting my teams know ahead of time if I’m unable to complete a task by the given deadline
- Being honest with my team members if I have too much on my plate – they’ve always found a way to help!
Learning & Growth
Although I learned something new every day, these were the top 5 things I learned during my internship:
- Your work culture really makes or breaks your work experience
- Being detail-obsessed is a necessary PR skill
- No question is a dumb question especially when new to the industry – always ask lots of questions!
- Communication with your teammates is key to managing a heavy workload and succeeding in your role
- There’s always going to be a job/task for you – speak up and offer to help!
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