Week one (7th – 11th of January: My first week was an extremely daunting experience and walking into the office the first morning I was definitely nervous and even a bit scared of what was in store for me that day. I was shown to my desk by Jessica and we set up my computer and my very own email account which was to be used for the duration of my internship. Jessica then advised me on what was to be my job for the next few days, updating the contact lists for both Alison and James. I had two humongous piles of business cards which needed to be entered into the database. As I settled in and started adding the contacts in, although tedious, it had me relaxing a little bit because I thought that if the rest of the internship was completing jobs like this then I would be fine! That was until Friday came along and I had finished up adding the contacts. Jess asked me into the board room and gave me a briefing about a project Redstick was working on for Warralilly. She then asked me to write a short media release for the Geelong Independent. I was quite nervous about writing the release but finished it up in the afternoon and it was sent off to the Marketing Director at Warralilly for checking. I was proud of myself for completing the piece because I had doubted in my abilities and was quite afraid of making mistakes so actually being told it was good made my nerves settle a little bit.
Week two (14th- 18th of January: As my second week began I felt a little bit more at home and was not as nervous, however I was still doubting in my abilities as a writer and in my competence when it came to projects and jobs involving government relations. Politics has never been a strong point of mine and has never been something which I am interested in. I found it quite confronting when asked to do some research of the marginal seats in the area as I did not even know what a marginal seat was. I completed the research and learnt something new along the way which is what an internship is all about. My second week also consisted of compiling a media list for all the print, TV and radio in the greater Geelong area which was great because I was able to see just how easy it is to actually get into contact with the important people of those media arenas. I also was able to again see just how important media lists are to a Public Relations business. I also had to do some research for a project which James is personally invested in called ‘Klop’ and I was asked to research possible promotional avenues for that venture. As the Avalon airshow was also coming up and Redstick was to have a booth at the exhibition I had to load some phamlets onto USBs which were to be handed out at the exhibition.
Week three 21st-25th of January: As my third week commenced things started to pick up in the office as the holiday spirit slowly started to wear off and employees everywhere got into the full swing of things. My duties for the week included filing and updating the agricultural media list, organising media clippings and I also was asked to break down the taxi inquiry and compare it to the submission which Avalon entered. I was to identify the things which the inquiry addressed about the taxi situation at Avalon and identify the solutions which the inquiry offered.
Week four 28th of January to the 1st of February: As Monday the 28th of January was a public holiday when I returned on Wednesday there was a large amount of catching up which needed to be done. As a follow up to the taxi inquiry I was required to write a supplementary submission for Avalon which addressed the problems arising from the inquiry. It was somewhat daunting completing this because I had never written a submission and once again my self doubt kicked in. However, as always I managed to complete the submission and was told it was to a high standard. Week four also consisted of writing a proposal for the Nuffield Scholars, again writing a proposal was another first for me but I was able to write it and it was sent to the manager of the scholar program. I also attended a meeting with the media and PR team at the Cats to discuss an upcoming event for PR2PR which is run by Redstick.
Week five 4th- 8th of February: Week five started of quite slow and I worked on the booking sheet and the meet and greet sheet for the upcoming PR2PR event. I also commenced working on the catering for the airshow exhibition and compiled lists of possible catering avenues and also needed to organise all the furniture Redstick would need. Week five also consisted of putting together two flat packs for the kitchen, putting together delegation packages for James and I was also asked to write a media release about the St john of God Hospital.
Week Six 11th – 15th of February: Week six was very quiet, I spent one full day putting together the T20 proposals which were to be taken for lobbying in Canberra in the upcoming weeks. I organised more media clippings, did some shredding and filing and also had another meeting for the approaching PR2PR event. At the meeting we discussed the possibility of pulling the event because of lack of interest from the invited parties. We decided to make calls to everyone which unfortunately proved futile.
Week Seven 17th – 22nd of February: My last week was a very busy one as the Avalon airshow exhibition was the week after I had to run many errands, dropping things off and picking things up for the airshow. I was asked to write another media release for St John of God and also had to email a media release through to everyone on the agricultural media list. I also compiled another media list for the South West of Victoria. My last day was spent running errands for the exhibition and ensuring Redstick had everything they needed to make a great impression at the airshow.
My experience at Redstick is fairly mixed for me, it was extremely hard to placed in a company which is very small and also deals a lot with government relations. Because the business is so small and Jessica and James were really the only two employees there the entire time I felt it was very hard to ask for help when I needed it because they were always so busy and I felt I was interrupting. That was very difficult for me especially because I was attempting things I had never done before and I believe the whole point of doing an internship is so you can ask questions. The parts of the internship I did enjoy was seeing how everything worked and learning new things about areas I really did not know anything about, for example, politics. I did see most of the theories that I have previously learnt about executed in the projects which they were completed. For example when first meeting with a client and writing up their proposal they use the ‘eight steps’ which include the research completed, the key findings, the objective statements and so on. Redstick also relies heavily on media lists and their contact lists which I have previously learnt about. I put into practice the skills I learnt for writing media releases and effectively and was also able to see the process which they undergo when written by a firm such as Redstick. Unfortunately I was not able to complete an event because the planned PR2PR speed networking night was cancelled due to lack of interest. However I was able to see the primary planning which goes into putting an event like that together. What I learnt about myself from my internship experience with Redstick is that I definitely do not want to pursue a career in Government Relations and that had I been doing the things I was doing but in relation to fashion or beauty I would have enjoyed the experience so much more. In addition I learnt that I am incredibly doubtful about my abilities even though I am completely capable of doing the things they were asking me to do, as I found out after I would complete the tasks. I can only put it down to being afraid of failing in front of Jess and James who are two incredibly intellectual and talented people who I did not want to disappoint. Even though my experience was not exactly what I had had in mind at the beginning, I am still extremely happy that I did it. It has really reinforced for me where I want to go once I graduate and what type of company I would like to get into. I would love to do PR for a lifestyle or fashion magazine or for a makeup line or a large corporation such as Cotton On or Target. It has lifted my confidence and made me realise that I am capable of anything I put my mind to even if it is not something I am passionate about.