By: Tyler Lehner

Summertime isn’t the time to turn off and tune out of your pre-professional life. Yes, we study throughout the academic year, but you need to spend time practicing what you’re learning outside of the classroom. There is no better time to do this other than summer. 

I hope you are having a productive, PR-filled summer in whatever you’re doing. For those of you who aren’t, here are some quick suggestions on how to still get some PRoductivity out of your summer break.

1.     Internships

—Most summer internships are in full swing and for those of you neck deep in work already, good for you and keep up the good work. If you didn’t score an internship at the beginning of the summer or didn’t quite get on the ball when you should have, don’t sweat it. There is still time for you to intern or volunteer. Hop of your university’s job board or some other job websites and keep searching. Giving up is not an option.

2.     Tweet Chats

—If you haven’t ever participated in a Tweet Chat, you’re missing out. Not only are they super fun and you interact with a storm of rockin’ industry people, but you learn a ton as well. There are tons of PR Tweet Chats happening all the time. Hop onto Twitter and search #TweetChat to find one that you’re interested in. I suggest visiting @ChelseaKrost’s profile. She hosts weekly Tweet Chats about Millennials and industry happenings. Tweet on, my friends.

3.     WRITE

—It doesn’t matter whether you’re kickin’ it old school with a diary/journal or stepped into the digital realm with a blog: You need to keep writing. We write everyday during the school year as PR kids. Writing is a practiced skill. If you don’t keep consistency, you’re going to have a horrible case of writer’s block come this fall when the semester begins. Get your feelings and thoughts out and WRITE!

4.     Networking Events

—In Grand Rapids there are a ton of networking groups that organize events for college students, interns and young professionals. Take advantage of these and go meet people that study and work in the same industry as you. A few in the Grand Rapids area include GRYP (Grand Rapids Young Professionals), GRAPE (Grand Rapids Area Professionals for Excellence) and Grand Rapids Network After Work. These organizations have email lists that blast you with heaps of kick-butt networking events. Go and get your network on.

5.     Experiment

—Through course work and practice, you may find that you are stellar at one specific part of the PR field, whether that is writing press releases, designing, pitching, etc. Do you find yourself wanting to become more skilled in another part of the industry? Do some research, experiment and start practicing. You will find that 1.) You’re awesome at it, or 2.)  You’re not. If you are, great; another tool to add to the toolbox. If you’re not, hey, that’s okay! You may not be doing this in the future but at least you will then know enough about it to strike up or engage in a conversation about it with peers.

It’s never too late in the summer to start being productive. Take a few hours and prioritize. Set a few goals for the rest of the summer and you will be surprised with what you are able to accomplish. 

–Written by Tyler Lehner, 834 Marketing and Design Public Relations Intern,
 PRSSA President