Views from The Hill
As a kid, everyone dreams of being President one day (and you are lying if you say you didn’t!). While most of us never grow up calling the big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue home-sweet-home, we, the interns of Washington, D.C. Qorvis MSLGROUP get to call this city our home for the summer. Working a few streets over from some of the most influential and powerful people in the nation can be slightly intimidating, but it’s also invigorating and provides us with opportunities that are unparalleled to anywhere else in the nation.
While we complete our daily share of typical ‘intern tasks,’ such as administrative work, media monitoring and creating media lists, we were surprised at how different these tasks are because of our location in the nation’s capital. For example, a simple delivery or lunch stroll can easily lead us to the Washington Monument, the White House or Ford’s Theater, where President Lincoln was shot in 1865. Almost every day, one of us is on Capitol Hill making deliveries to the offices of some of the country’s most important decision makers (and even hopeful presidential candidates).
We work with clients in almost every industry, but one of the highlights of our office is working with many of the embassies in D.C. It is our job to monitor media coverage of these countries, report on the overall quantity and tone of the coverage, and share input for agency recommendations. It is truly amazing to know that the work we do may have a small impact on foreign affairs.
While most of us work with clients in a more traditional PR capacity and have our desks located on the 5th floor in the space dubbed the “Intern Row,” two of us have had the incredible opportunity of working with the digital team in the frigid arctic of the 6th floor (and yes, it does actually get that cold up there!). Our day involves social media monitoring, research and website audits, and social media content creation. Using social listening software, our digital team gains insights for clients about digital conversations. Brandwatch, one of our most useful tools, gathers data from Twitter, news sites and other major websites to find key influencers and learn what people are saying on a national or global scale.
The public affairs nature of our work in the D.C. office makes our assignments in digital both dynamic and challenging. Learning the tone and voice of our clients and being able to accurately represent them on social media platforms is a key component to being successful in the digital space. For instance, we were tasked with crafting tweets and Facebook posts for the National Safety Council. Initially it was difficult to think of creative posts for a client focused on issue advocacy centered around new car technologies and safety, rather than product sales.Although it was daunting at first, after some creative team brainstorming we created content that was inventive and fresh. The project was a great learning experience about how to take educational subjects and shape them for social media audiences.
Each of us here at Qorvis MSLGROUP has been given an opportunity of a lifetime. We’ve cherished each and every moment, client and experience we’ve had here, and we couldn’t be happier with our internship. As the sun goes down every night and the lights illuminate the city, highlighting some of our nation’s most thought-provoking and life-changing memorials (yes we know this is cheesy, bear with us), we can only reflect about how incredible our time has been in Washington, D.C. A big “thank you” to everyone in the D.C. office that has been instrumental in helping us achieve our goals in becoming the next generation of public relations practitioners!
Maggie Boozer is a recent graduate from Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee and majored in International and Global Studies with a focus on the Middle East and Europe. She has an interest in international work, particularly in the Middle East, and is planning on starting Arabic courses this summer. Maggie has had a variety of internships including event design, as well as an internship on the Hill for a Congressman.
Daniel Ebrahimi is from nearby Baltimore, Maryland and a recent graduate from the West Virginia University. He was a student-athlete tutor and sports analyst at his campus radio station. Daniel has recently returned from backpacking around Europe and is already thinking about his next excursion.
Caroline Hudson is a recent graduate from Louisiana State University. She has a degree in Mass Communications – Public Relations and minors in Business Administration and Psychology. During college she played on the LSU women’s tennis team, was elected vice president of her sorority, participated in the leadership committee of LSU Dance Marathon and worked for the LSU president and chancellor’s office under the Director of External Affairs. In previous internships, Caroline has worked for the United States Senator Mary Landrieu and Charlie Cook, the founder of a non-partisan online political journal.
Amylia Johnson is an intern for the digital practice in Qorvis MSLGROUP. She is a May 2016 graduate from Howard University with a degree in Public Relations and minor in Graphic Design. Amylia held a number of previous internships at nonprofit organizations across Washington D.C.
Katie McKeogh is an intern for the digital practice in MSLGROUP’s D.C. office. She graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2016 with degrees in Public Relations and History. Katie has held internships with the Georgia Swarm, a pro-lacrosse team, and Habitat for Humanity. She also had the opportunity to work with the media relations team at the All-State Sugar Bowl during the College Football Playoff.
Mackenzie Trumbull is an intern at Qorvis MSLGROUP’s D.C. office. She studied Chinese and Economics at Georgetown University and graduated in May 2016. Before Qorvis MSLGROUP, Mackenzie was a Communication and Outreach intern for Georgetown University’s Office of Campus Ministry, and spent six months living in Taipei and Beijing.