by Stephen Zelezny, Business Wire Marketing Intern
As a public relations student with an emphasis in business, it seemed like it was a no-brainer that Business Wire was the perfect fit for a spring internship – especially heading into graduation this May. When I first arrived to the office in late January, however, I quickly realized my ability to learn on the go would be far more important than my degree on paper. And perhaps that’s just the reality of the professional workforce – a reality I’m fortunate to have seen as a soon-to-be graduate.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the degree students pursue is important, not just to our day-to-day satisfaction as a college students but also in our immediate careers after college. And, in some way or another, I do see the art of advocacy communication – whether in the political realm or in the corporate world – as a lifetime pursuit.
But what was vastly different from my experience at the Business Wire from previous internships, or even from my numerous PR courses, was the need for me to learn EVERY single facet of the company’s operations. In a nutshell, it was all about learning on the go. Sales. Investor Relations. The newsroom editing process. Trade show events. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Equally as importance as our products and services are the variety in demographics the company reaches out to. Whether it was chatting with Danny Selnick about Public Policy Wire, or learning about the scope of LatinoWire, I further grasped the real power of appealing to niche audiences through Business Wire’s extended network. Some might think it’s too complex to work with so many demographics at once. But for me, I see the company’s expanded reach as a challenge worth learning about. It’s an opportunity for absorbing information and, along the way, getting to know some really smart and talented professionals.
Long story short, it was critical to have a basic understanding of how every single department within Business Wire operated before I could even begin to understand how the marketing and PR team communicated BW’s message to its notable clientele.
Above all, I learned nothing is more important for a professional communicator than to understand the ins-and-outs of the company. In a corporate setting such as this, it was evident we have to look at ourselves as less of “communicators” and more as “business people” who happen to have a niche in communication. And that requires us not only to get to know everyone in the BW family, but also to fully grasp and to appreciate the roles they serve within the leading global press release distribution company.
As communication platforms evolve within the blink of an eye, young professionals such as myself will soon be in charge of advancing the way in which our business community converses to serve the larger public interest – its customers. Having seen firsthand how a leading wire service functions to not only evolve, but to lead that change, I couldn’t be more excited for the future ahead.
And above all, I can’t wait to keep learning on the go.
Stephen Zelezny is a graduating Senior at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. He recently worked as a marketing intern within Business Wire’s Los Angeles office.