PR Industry Internships

2014

Advice for those wishing to employ tertiary students as interns in the public relations and communication management industry in New Zealand.

  • PRINZ members have a strong focus on ethics and are expected to abide by the PRINZ Code of Ethics. 
  • An employer invests time in an intern, teaching and mentoring them during their time in a role which can often be just a short while.
  • At the same time, interns have an opportunity to learn in a real life situation. 
  • It is important to maintain a balance of fairness between all parties.
  • PRINZ is confident that where its member organisations and individual members employ interns, this will be done on a fair and equitable basis.
  • Any situation where an intern is not paid is typically a short term one, or is unpaid as part of the student's academic study requirements, and is agreed by all parties in advance.
  • PRINZ offers student membership to full time tertiary students.

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Intern situations

Public relations interns are typically employed within not-for-profit organisations, or within consultancies, where they undertake pro bono work. However, there are sometimes opportunities for interns to work on projects within corporates or for paying clients within consultancies.

The scale of internships varies from a one off, work experience immersion where the student shadows a practitioner/team and learns by watching (usually short term, unpaid), to a project or set period internship where the student has tasks and agrees to set hours per week (usually paid).

The latter is substantially formal, and as such payment for the time is recommended.

Employer commitment

Treat the intern as you would any other member of the team while they are with you.  This means they get the perks that any employee gets, for example, coffee, personal calls, mileage paid for work travel.

No matter how short the internship, the student should have a job description and a contractual agreement. Other agreements include confidentiality and intellectual property that an employer may wish to consider.

PRINZ recommends that student interns are paid at least the minimum wage