By Dean’s Intern Hannah Sedgwick at Discovery Communications
My cube is surrounded by a Bigfoot plush that roars, a common area called “The Tank,” a constantly rotating candy selection and giant cut outs of Animal Planet celebri-cat, Lil BUB. Where can an intern find such an eclectic assortment of objects? Animal Planet, of course.
I sort of fell into this path of working in PR. I just finished my BA in Communication Studies and will start my one-year MA in Strategic Communication at AU as part of SOC’s BA/MA program. Last summer, I interned with Discovery Education and consumer products as their public relations intern. I had no clue about the world of PR when I sat down at my desk last summer and now I feel like a (semi) pro sitting at my desk typing away pitches, media advisories, media lists and press releases. I’m not a traditional public relations student in the sense that I’ve learned everything I know about PR on the job at the world’s largest paid TV programmer.
I’m back at Discovery Communications this summer for a second go-round with their incredible intern program. I’ve started my fifth week as the public relations intern working with Animal Planet’s top-notch communications team and I’ve loved every second of it.
This summer, I’ve been working mainly on Animal Planet’s brand-new show, DR. JEFF: ROCKY MOUNTAIN VET which premieres July 11, at 10 PM ET/PT. I’ve learned so much about the process of publicizing a television show just in these few weeks. I’m so happy that I’ve been able to see the process and how much time, effort and personnel goes into one premiere. I’ve mostly been creating media lists for us to send out releases but I also did much of the research that informed the release, worked on drafts on the character biographies and created one sheets. I’ve been helping email out all of the press material and episode previews to print, broadcast and radio reporters to promote the show.
When I’m not working on DR. JEFF: ROCKY MOUNTAIN VET related projects, I’m usually spending time with FINDING BIGFOOT. Every week, I get to watch the new episodes of FINDING BIGFOOT and pitch the local reporters all over the country. So far, I’ve had one media hit and am looking forward to more throughout the summer!
I’ve also been getting my press release and media advisory practice in. Again, I’m not your typical PR student who has spent time perfecting this, so I’ve been learning on the job. Animal Planet hosted an event called WOOFSTOCK: THE ROAD TO PUPPY BOWL in Chicago last weekend and had a Guinness World Record title attempt. I wrote the media advisory that would have gone out if the record had been broken, but alas, we didn’t make it into the record books.
Besides navigating the PR world, I’ve also had my fair share of fun at Discovery. This June marked Discovery’s 30th birthday so there were appropriate celebrations to go along with it. Discovery also hosted the John Hendricks Innovation Awards, honoring the best, brightest and most innovative employees across Discovery’s global offices. My fellow Animal Planet interns and I participated in Discovery’s “Escape the Archives” where we were locked in a mock archives room and told to figure out how to escape by figuring out the clues. I went to a Q & A session with Jazz Jennings and her parents, who are the stars of the upcoming TLC show, I AM JAZZ. I’ve also made a trip to Animal Planet’s Puppy Cam and Kitten Cam, where I got to play with an ENTIRE ROOM full of puppies, which made basically all of my dreams come true.
I’m so grateful and honored to work at Discovery. The people here are the best in the business and are so full of passion for the brand. It’s truly a one-of-a-kind place to work. I’m so thankful that everyone on the Animal Planet communications team has taken me under their wing (pun intended) and has taught me so much already.