Maggie Stephens – Hirons New Business Assistant
I could not have asked for a better internship to lead me into my senior year. Working at Hirons has been an experience that has provided me with opportunities that go beyond the regular coffee runs and drafting blog posts. I have been given real work, and it has proved successful.
At Hirons, I currently serve as the New Business Assistant. This is not your typical PR position, but I’ve got to dip my hand in the PR honey jar plenty of times.
Working in the new business department means that I am helping do just what you think: find Hirons new business. This is way beyond the three-martini lunches and schmoozing prospective clients like you see on Mad Men. There is a lot of writing and strategy involved. A lot.
The process starts with receiving a request for proposal, or an RFP. This usually lays out what the client is seeking, such as rebranding, media relations, communications planning, digital advertising, etc. My boss and I write a response that answers how we can help their firm. Sometimes this involves bringing in people from the creative or media departments to offer up some ideas. The responses run anywhere between 15-30 pages. Once it has been gone over with a fine-toothed comb, we send it back to the company and anxiously await to hear back from them.
Although summer time is generally slow for RFP’s we have obtained quite a few wins since I’ve been here. That feels good.
In addition to drafting responses to RFP’s, I have been able to draft press releases, media advisories and scopes of work, schedule social media posts, create PowerPoint presentations for new business proposals, assist in kicking off a political campaign and help with some crisis communications issues (you may have seen our fearless leader, Tom Hirons, on RTV6 during the Jared Fogle scandal). My favorite project so far? Very carefully retrieving bricks from the demolition zone of a beloved Indianapolis building so that a few Hirons employees had a piece of that building – true story.
Have I mentioned my favorite parts about Hirons yet? Donut Thursdays, Bagel Fridays and Friday Fun (read: eat snacks and drink wine). And the rooftop is a great place to escape in the middle of the day. The view is not too bad, either.
I am beyond grateful for my time at Hirons and for the opportunities I have been given. I would say I’m sad that the summer is ending, but luckily for me, they have asked me to continue my internship into the fall. Yay! Giving myself a light load is not really my thing. This is why my blood type is coffee.
Maggie Stephens is a senior majoring in journalism and specializing in public relations. She is earning minors in both history and marketing. Maggie currently serves as president of PRSSA and served as vice president from 2013-2015.