Interview with Abby Stollar, PR Student and Intern at Inside Out Creative

This week for my Interview Series, we have Abby Stollar, a senior at the University of Delaware, majoring in Mass Communication and minoring in political science, political communication, and journalism. Abby discusses working at Inside Out Creative, her determination to stand out in a competitive job market and how she manages to write great content on a consistent basis.
1. First off, tell us a little about yourself – why PR?

I’ve always had a love for communication, especially writing. When I was younger, I thought I wanted to be a novelist and then later a magazine journalist. Once I was old enough to understand what “public relations” was, I knew that was a great way to combine my love for writing and communication and decided to pursue it in college. Soon, I loved anything and everything PR-related!

PR is all about symbiotic, two-way communication, and I love that aspect. It brings people together; it encourages conversation. Good PR is never selfish; it’s all about what’s best for a key audience or public.

2. You’re studying a combination of communications, journalism and political science. Where do you see your career path headed? Any plans for government communication roles?

 I am very interested in the public affairs part of public relations. Ultimately, I would like to be a legislative advocate for some type of non-profit organization. PR professionals are essentially advocates for their brand, and this advocacy concept translates nicely into the public affairs arena. I love to see how communication can help aid change, and the best legislative advocates can construct and communicate messages to help bring change to a group or community.

3. What was your role at Inside Out Creative like?

 This summer, I interned at Inside Out Creative, a full-service public relations, marketing, design, and social media agency, in York, Pa. Although I am back in Newark, Del., for my senior year, I am still a freelancer and work as on projects as needed.

My main responsibilities included developing and executing social media strategic plans for clients in the education, hospitality, and service industries. In addition, I did a little bit of everything – event planning, press release writing, speech writing, newsletter writing, and yes, more writing!

4. You seem to juggle a lot of roles; Director of Public Relations for the StUDent Government Association, a University Teacher’s Assistant for the Journalism Program, and an Events/Legislative intern at Autism Delaware, plus all those uni classes! How do you manage your workload?

The key is organization and sticking to a schedule! In addition to using my a planner, I use the “stickies” function on my computer and constantly keep to-do lists on my desktop. It’s also important to schedule far in advance; I always look at my schedule at least two weeks at a time so that I can proactively finish assignments and projects when necessary. And finally, I always schedule some “me” time by working out in the mornings. It helps de-stress me and start off each morning refreshed and ready for the long day ahead! I also drink a lot of coffee…honestly, what PR professional doesn’t?

5. You created a fascinating presentation about “My Journey to Avoid Unemployment” – what were the reasons behind this?

I’m really trying to explore more “digital” media and brand myself as a creative PR professional. I learned about Prezi a few months back and always wanted to try it, so I spent a few weeks this summer trying it out and developing this “digital” resume for myself. In a competitive job market, it’s always important to stand out, so that’s exactly what I’m trying to do!

6. Lately I’ve spent more time staring at a blank screen than actually typing, yet you seem to continually churn out great content. Any advice?

Well thank you for your compliment!  The best advice I can give is to always be looking around you for ideas and write them down when you have them!

For example, I got the idea for my latest piece about whether or not social media can ever be a 9-to-5 job, when I needed to contact Vistaprint’s customer service and realized that their PR team managed their Twitter account only from 9am to 5 pm.

Also, I’ll write about topics that I’m currently researching/interested in using for projects and in classes. My post about “Making your social media pitch” is based off of a presentation I gave in my upper-level PR management class. The presentation took me a long time to prepare and included doing a lot of research, so I wanted to maximize that by including it on my blog.

The other thing I’ll do is write blog posts whenever I have time (which honestly isn’t all that often, haha!) and save them to post at a later date. This way, I have a steady stream of content rather than posting a bunch during one week and then none the next. Over the summer when I had more time, I wrote a few posts to use over the course of the fall semester. However, some of my posts have to be timely (especially the political ones), so that “prepare ahead of time” mentality doesn’t always work out

7. And lastly, any tips for the communication students out there looking for their first internship?

Be proactive. That’s the best advice I can give. I feel like many students get overwhelmed and maybe even intimidated at the application and interview process for internships, but it’s not always like that. I always encourage students to look to non-profit organizations as a great place to start your internship career.

Non-profits are always looking for free help and will usually take on an intern who is willing to learn and to work. Those are great places to gain experience and will give you an edge later when going on to apply for bigger, more competitive internships. Seek out opportunities and you will be successful!

***To contact Abby check out her blog http://abbystollar.com or say hello @abbynicole1204***

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3 thoughts on “Interview with Abby Stollar, PR Student and Intern at Inside Out Creative

  1. Best of luck to Abby! On the subject of advocacy journalism, Bob Gibson, Executive Director of the University of Virginia’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, recently said: “Advocacy journalism can be a very valuable thing: people with a cause, people who want to change the world, people who want to take the country in a different direction. And there is more of that. There are more organizations that are doing long-term investigative reporting and generally they do buy into advocacy journalism. There are others that are forming that are taking the traditional tact of pursuing the truth wherever it leads, without a preordained direction, and we tend to trust those, I think, a little bit more because they have a track record—the good ones—of being balanced.” (Gibson appeared on the Charlottesville, VA, politics interview program Politics Matters with host and producer Jan Madeleine Paynter discussing journalism http://bit.ly/pm-gibson)

  2. Pingback: Interview with Abby Stollar, PR Student and Intern at Inside Out … | IT Cookies

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