Yes, I work at a PR agency in Hong Kong and this is my 4th week here. After making myself acquainted with the MTR system, the office building, the co-workers, and the food court, let’s see what I’ve learned in the past three weeks.
I work on the technology team and my day normally begins with checking the company mailbox. My supervisor will brief me on everyday’s task through an email. Basically my work includes media profile updating, transcription of interviews, note-taking for brainstorm meetings & media training, and drafting for speeches.
What I find as the most exciting part is the brainstorm meeting. The supervisor will select five to six people from different teams for the brainstorming and each will be asked to share their ideas. This session makes me feel as if I were back to the Annenberg classroom where students proactively offer their ideas to the whole class. The professor’s role is to navigate the discussion instead of imparting his/her ideas on the students.
Another session that makes me feel at school is every Wednesday’s lunch-time training. Employees above the SVP level will be selected to give training to entry level employees on different topics such as strategic thinking, messaging, and crisis planning. The form is similar to Annenberg’s Journalism Director’s Forum held each Tuesday noon. Likewise, lunch will be provided at the training. However, different from Annenberg’s sandwiches and cookies, the lunch here is quite diversified because this is Hong Kong—main course usually has rice noodle and fried rice, while the side dish includes roast meat, tempura, potato salad and various kinds of vegetables. Am I diverting too much from the topic? Anyway, I learned quite a bit from the training and applied what I’ve learned in class to the Q & A session.
We’re almost half way done in the internship and I do hope that my supervisor can let me handle some media pitch or press release work. Given that media relation is an important part of PR, I still haven’t talked to any reporter over the phone and I know clearly that my biggest challenge is that I can’t speak Cantonese. Since most of the reporters are local and they prefer Cantonese as the daily language, which may be why my supervisor is unwilling to give this task to me. Overall, my internship won’t be complete without this experience. Should I start learning Cantonese today?