Buzzing About

10 Interning Hacks To Set Yourself Up For Success

Posted by Taylor Lewis on Aug 24, 2016 12:49:37 PM

Beginning an internship can be a tough transition. In fact, starting out in any new environment can be difficult when you aren’t quite sure what to expect. Before days in the office become a routine, finding your niche can be quite the challenge.

And while it can be easy to get discouraged sometimes, what I’ve come to realize through my experience out in ‘the real world’ is that interning is the ultimate learning experience. You never know exactly how your day is going to go. From weekly status meetings to visiting sweet co-workers’ newborns, interning for JJPR has been an experience I will forever cherish.

If you’re starting a new internship or job soon, here are a few pieces of advice to consider. Together, these 10 tips make the perfect recipe for success in the workplace and will help you leave a lasting impression on your co-workers. The craziest thing? These tips require zero talent.














1. Be on time.

The snooze button is not your friend. Waking up early will allow for more time to relax before jumping into a morning meeting. In fact, arriving early may help you get more familiar with the office standard. Try to get into the habit of being an early riser – this will only give you extra time to accomplish even more.


2. Show a strong work ethic.

Demonstrating a strong work ethic will show your boss and co-workers you are invaluable. Display responsibility, discipline and integrity in everything you do, and you will exceed expectations.


3. Put in the extra effort.

For those tasks that seem impossible or above your reach, just remember to put in the extra effort. Showing you care about each assignment will convey your commitment to the internship and each project that comes your way. I have faced many tasks that have challenged me throughout these past three months, but I tried my best on each and every one, and I assure you, it does not go unnoticed.


 4. Watch your body language.

Communicating with others clearly and professionally is essential. Remember to maintain a smile and eye contact while speaking to others. Body language can make or break you in any career.


 5. Show some energy.

High energy is essential for those Mondays that never seem to go as planned. From puppy sitting to afternoon planking sessions, JJPR’s office life exudes energy. We get a little pep in our step once we've had our second cup of coffee.












6. Stay positive.

Maintaining a positive attitude in the workplace will not only motivate you, but the entire team. Have enthusiasm with every task you are given—it’s contagious.


7. Keep your passion.

We’ve all heard the Confucius saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Having passion about what you do will drive you toward achieving your greatest accomplishments.


8. Be coachable.

Be able to commit to change, be open to new information, and be appreciative of other perspectives. Set yourself apart by being able to be molded by your employer into what they need. I’ve done everything from social media posts to holding banners during a newscast. Being an intern has taught me to be readily available to do anything and be anywhere I am needed.


9. Go the extra mile.

Take on those tedious jobs that others aren’t looking forward to doing. You will receive praise in the office for the little things that you can do for others.


 10. Be prepared.

This means planning for the future. Prioritize your to-do list every day and set new goals to accomplish each week. This can seem trivial at first, but it will end in high reward when you reach your end goals. Be prepared to invest a lot of time in getting established.

















By following these ‘hacks for interning,’ I’ve transitioned from the clueless intern I felt I started out as to a true young professional. And it’s all thanks to these guidelines that require zero talent. If you can manage to maintain these 10 characteristics in the workplace, then you have mastered the interning world and can begin to set your sights even higher.


Bonus tip: It never hurts to be the go-to gal for snacks—Cheez-Its are an office favorite that we can’t live without!


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Topics: public relations, PR internship, Interning

From Boston to ‘Bama: Working in the South is Wicked Awesome, Y’all

Posted by Alison Mehrman on Mar 23, 2016 12:00:00 PM




Starting a new job is always an adjustment, but when a Yankee starts working in the Deep South, each day is an adventure. Born and raised just outside of Boston, I recently relocated to the Gulf Coast, and JJPR was kind enough to take in this northerner as their new public relations account coordinator. 

I’ve found the field of public relations to be the same anywhere—making media lists, writing content for clients and strategizing the best avenues for exposure. But in these first couple of weeks on the job, I’ve definitely noticed differences between office life in Alabama and Massachusetts.


The Lingo

That presentation isn’t “wicked good,” but it’s “real nice, y’all.” 

Language is one of the biggest distinctions between my coworkers and me. I’m sure they’ve wondered what “wicked” is all about, or why I sometimes don’t pronounce my “R’s.” At the same time, I’m enthralled listening to them talk about buying “john johns” for their children while pulling out their “billfolds.” (Boston translation: “overalls” and “wallets”).

I’ve also had to learn how to pronounce local cities like “Bayou La Batre” correctly.

Side note: I can now better appreciate when people new to Massachusetts don’t know how to say towns like “Peabody” and “Gloucester.”




Chick-Fil-A is to the South what Dunkins is to the Northeast: You can always count on one being nearby, and it helps get you through your workday.  Of course, trading my DD caramel swirl iced coffee for sweet tea and waffle fries hasn’t been easy on my waistline, but it’s sure been delicious.



Small Town vs. Big City  

In my Boston-area internships and jobs, our big-name clients were usually represented by disembodied voices in conference calls. In Daphne, Alabama, our clients are friends, neighbors, coworkers and community leaders. Everyone knows everyone else, and making connections is much easier.



Earlier this week, my friends in Massachusetts scraped snow and ice off their cars and journeyed to work bundled up in heavy overcoats and hats. Meanwhile, I thought it was a little chilly for Alabama and wore capris instead of a dress to the office. I still haven’t rivaled my coworkers’ awesome senses of style, but I’m inspired to go shopping now that I can trade winter boots for heels. 




I’ve finally escaped congested Boston streets and parking garages for wide-open spaces and farmland. My commute still takes me about an hour, but now it’s to go 58 miles instead of 13, and I don’t even have to bang any U-ies on my drive in. Now, “whatever all” you guys think, that’s pretty cool. 



Despite these differences, both Massachusetts and Alabama have been great to me. I’ve had wonderful jobs, coworkers, and bosses in each, and while I’ll always be a Boston girl at heart, I’m loving the Southern hospitality here at JJPR. 


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Topics: Alabama public relations, PR agency, JJPR agency, public relations

Internship Essentials

Posted by Taylor Lewis on Mar 9, 2016 3:36:32 PM


Academic experience is invaluable. On the job training? Even better. However, being the intern can be intimidating, especially when you’re working alongside professionals who have been rocking the industry for years. So when I first began my internship at JJPR in May 2015, I knew I had to bring my A-game. I channeled my butterflies into excitement and worked hard to tackle every task sent my way with 110% effort. Samantha Jones depicted life in the PR world as all glitz, glam and mega parties, though I have come to find out it’s so much more challenging than she led on. So, without further ado, here are my top five takeaways and the best advice I can share with future interns or newbies in the communications field…

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but be self-sufficient.

As the saying goes, “there is no such thing as a stupid question.” I have to disagree just a bit. Yes, asking questions shows that you are involved and eager to learn more. Being curious also shows you are critically thinking and engaging in your work. BUT, it’s important to do some of your own research in finding answers. The PR office is a bustling one, as we all work to meet deadlines and run off to meet with clients. I never want to slow down the process unless totally necessary. So before running to ask a coworker how to create a new Excel spreadsheet or how to start the printer, I always refer to our beloved friend Google, first.


Do the tedious stuff.

This one I cannot stress enough. As the intern, I am often assigned ho-hum, but absolutely necessary, tasks. Building media lists, distributing news releases and picking up pops from Sonic (*pop translates to ‘soft drink’ in Chicago lingo) can sometimes feel menial. In reality, these less than glam tasks are vital and are to be done graciously. Interns can do themselves and their colleagues a serious professional favor by bringing a “will-do” attitude to the office. Trust me, your coworkers and boss will notice your hard work and will be utterly thankful to have you in the office. So, take out the trash with a smile on your face! Don’t ever be too good for the grunt work.

You WILL make mistakes.

We are human, and humans make mistakes. That’s just the reality of life. This is no excuse to skip out on proofing an article or failing to double/triple check the date on a media alert before sending off, but it does mean that even when you try your hardest we still mess up from time to time. That’s how we learn. (*I am still recovering from the time I sent out a mass email that stated the news release was ‘alter’ instead of ‘attached’...)


To-do lists are your best friends.

As is your daily planner, Google calendar, color coordinated file folders, etc. What do these all have in common? Organization. To combat the overload of tasks and meetings, having a system of organization helps you avoid getting lost in the jumble. Keep an outline of tasks and to-dos to stay focused. Whether you go old school with a pen and paper, or use your Notes app on your MacBook, be aware of what you have to do in order to work efficiently and stay on track.

It’s tooootally okay to have a little (or a lot) of fun in the workplace.

Fun and work in the same sentence? Uhm, yes! Let me be the first to tell you, JJPR girls know fun. *Cue the mimosas at status meetings, puhlease!* Business is business, but that surely doesn’t mean we can’t mix a little spunk in the office. Especially in our industry, where we are constantly thinking of new and creative ways of doing things, fun is key. Forging real relationships at work can make you genuinely anticipate the start of each workday and also create some of the happiest, most productive employees! I can attest to this.

I can never truly express my gratitude for the lovely ladies of JJPR and all the wisdom and guidance they’ve given me. I truly have learned from the best. Badass CEO and #GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso, summed it all up when she said, “You combine hard work, creativity, and self-determination, and things start to happen.” Go make things happen!


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Topics: PR agency, public relations, PR internship


Posted by Jennifer Jenkins on Apr 1, 2015 2:37:00 PM

Today has been one of those crazy days, like most days – meetings, conference calls, pitching, designing, writing – you get the drift. But we were on a mission today, and that was to give our new blog a name.


Even though we have been talking about it for a while and admiring many cleverly-named ramblings, we have procrastinated as usual on dedicating time to naming the blog and promoting ourselves (our clients are always priority one.)

We had some funny ones, some absolutely terrible ones, and then we stumbled onto something… Recently while our team was managing an event for a client, one of our amazing vendors fondly coined the JJPR team “The Honeycomb.”

As he put it, a bunch of blondes (and brunettes) buzzing around, making things happen, getting it done. But he was on to something – we really are worker bees buzzing around creating a “buzz” for our clients.

Then we stumbled onto this great quote – and knew it summed up who we are and what goes on behind the scenes at JJPR.

“When you hear buzz around the beehive, you know they’re making honey in there.” - Terrence Howard

And that is how “Buzzing About” was born.


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Topics: Alabama public relations, PR agency, JJPR agency, public relations