A Semester with Sonnhalter

Interning in Public Relations

Posts Tagged ‘marketing communication’

Business-to-Business?

Posted by sonnhalter on November 4, 2008

b2bBusiness-to-business is a term I wasn’t always very familiar with. I had heard it in school, mostly in my marketing classes, but never really understood it. In my PR classes, we mostly worked with nonprofit organizations so I didn’t get to tap into this aspect.

Now that I am at SONNHALTER though, I am getting to tap into this segment of the field and understand it in its entirety. SONNHALTER is a marketing communication firm that specializes in business-to-business communications.

What is B2B:

Now to tell you the truth, when I read on SONNHALTER’s Web site that they specialized in business-to-business I had to look up what that meant. (So I knew for the interview and see what I was trying to get into.) This is more or less the definition I found,

Business-to-business or B2B is when to an organization facilitates the sale of products or services to other companies.

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What is PR’s Role:

PR plays a role in this like any other type of business. But there are some distinct differences that I have noticed.

The one thing you must get use to is writing for another business. Now you are probably saying, DUH, that’s a given. And yes it is, but it is something that takes getting use to. This is the first time I have had to write for a public that was another organization or business. In the past all my target audiences have always been part of the general public, not another organization.

This changes the writing style. You’re writing for someone who is very educated on the topic and knows all the organizations and organizations products out there. This makes things more competitive and makes your message more competitive. Trade magazines come into play here (read my post about trade magazines).

There are many aspects of each sector of PR and I only know a limited amount about some but I love discovering and learning the new facets of PR!

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Welcome!

Posted by sonnhalter on October 3, 2008

So the fun begins, but I warn you this first post is going to be a bit introductory to me and my experience. For all of you who didn’t read the “About the Intern” section, I will take a moment and introduce myself. My name is Anastasia (Ana) Duller and I am currently the Fall PR intern at SONNHALTER a marketing communications firm in Berea, Ohio.

I will be recording my time and experiences with SONNHALTER through this blog and the next intern at SONNHALTER will take over after me. I am sure each intern will have a different objective for this blog but one of my goals is to help other PR students who are conducting or looking for internships.

Before my first internship, I was terrified and did not know what to expect. Most students don’t know what the employers are going to expect and have no idea if they are capable of all those things learned in class. I brought every one of my PR books to my first internship, convinced I would forget everything I ever knew, including how to write a simple press release!

My Suggestions:

First, breathe.

Second, you will surprise yourself with how much you do know and can do.

Third, take the criticism. Listen to it and learn from it and try not to repeat mistakes.

I have interned and worked with very different organizations. During school, I worked with non-profits that had very limited budgets and lots of constraints. My first internship was with Susan G. Komen for the Cure Headquarters. Although it was a non-profit, it was the national headquarters and ran more like a large business. Right now, I am interning with SONNHALTER, which is a marketing communications firm that specializes in business-to-business communications.

Each of these organizations operates differently and each offered me something I had never experienced before and I have needed guidance throughout each. But that is what an internship is for; you are supposed to be learning from professionals. My work has been torn apart and given back to me and I have learned to accept that as inevitable.

When I started at Komen I didn’t know how Komen wanted to present their message and the same happened at Sonnhalter. I had to learn the organizations language and writing style and that takes time and lots of red ink!

To wrap up my first post I want to encourage all students to seek an internship and not to let fear get in their way. It is a learning experience and you are expected to make mistakes so learn to embrace them, just remember to learn from them also!

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