By far the best experience I’ve ever gotten is with my internship at Silver Dollar City. I work with three of the best Publicists this side of the Mississippi and I truly look forward to going to work and being around them every time I go in. What started as a summer internship flowed into a fall and winter internship as well. I received very high remarks and a 100% on my employee evaluation (which is very unheard of ver Herschend Family Entertainment employees because no one is “perfect”) and an invitation to come back at the beginning of 2012’s festival season starting in March.
With that being said, I’d like to explain the longest day I’ve ever survived with my internship and how I surprised I was to see how much information from the classroom I actually use (and do not use) in the “real world”.
I reported to SDC at 4:45am on Thursday, November 11th to begin setting up for the filming of Gov. Mike Huckabee’s visit with 15 veterans on park in honor of Veterans Day all to be aired nationally on Fox and Friends. I’ve never met a politician before and I was very excited. As I was setting up flags, making coffee and trying to keep my toes from getting frost bitten I continually thought of how in my Public Relations Techniques class with Jerri Lynn Kyle I’d heard from other PR pros about this type of work. One gentlemen told my classroom that he slept with phone in his hand just in case someone needed to get a hold of him. It was that extreme and the extreme of waking up at 3:30am that brought my life in PR a little more full circle.
As the day continued (and my toes defrosted) I was met with another Public Relations challenge that I college has not yet prepared me with. Thursday, SDC welcomed radio personality Ron Seggi of Universal Studios on Orlando, Florida to do a live broadcast from the park interviewing various Branson show entertainers for his show. It was my duty to wait at the front of the park for the entertainers and escort them to where the broadcast was taking place. Our line-up of guests was as star-studded as Branson could manage, the first guest being the owner of Liverpool Legends and sister to the Beatles member George Harrison’s little sister, Louise Harrison. In this situation I wished I’d learned about talent hospitality a little more in class because I was not prepared in how to react when a 80 year-old English woman scolded me for not having an electric wheelchair prepared for her arrival. As any good PR practitioner would do, I quickly thought on my feet and made a few discreet phone calls and retrieved an electric wheelchair for her while managing to make her call time with Mr. Seggi too.
By the end of the day, I’d met a wide variety of interesting individuals and came to several conclusions about the world of PR and publicity. The first being that 12 hour days do happen, and the only way to get through them is to layer your socks and make sure everyone is cared for, well feed and happy.