Porter Novelli Intern Blog | PR Internships

Jumping Feet First into the New and Unknown

Last September I joined the PN family as a monitoring specialist in Porter Novelli Radar. Working in Radar isn’t your everyday PR job. We don’t pitch journalists and we don’t write press releases. Heck, we don’t even work on an account team! That begs the question…what do we do?

The best part about PN Radar is that we constantly answer that question in different ways, but this is how it usually works:

  • Client A calls one of our account teams. Crisis!
  • After a member of the account team briefs us on the situation, we analyze every relevant social media post, print article and broadcast hit about the client and current issue.
  • We use those data to glean insights and compile a comprehensive report for the client and account team.
  • The account team typically uses the report to brief the client on the current media environment and how they’re being discussed. Based on what’s out there, the account team advises the client to help them through the crisis.

 When I started working in Radar, I couldn’t have been more excited. I also couldn’t have been more nervous. Radar was an entirely new creation at Porter Novelli. No one was 100% sure whether it would be a success or not. I knew I was lucky to have this job but felt I could just as easily lose it. What do you do in this kind of situation? These tips can be applied to almost any position, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  •  It’s going to be a bumpy ride. It’s rare anything new will run smoothly the first few times. Learn from it. Refine the process. To this day we are still tweaking the way we do projects and format our reports. Rather than running from the obstacles, tackle them head on—they’re bound to come up no matter what. Make the best of those challenges!
  • Ask questions. If you aren’t sure what to do, don’t be afraid to ask. Remember: your company created this function to see it succeed, so they want to help you. Asking questions opens up a dialogue and can help define your role in the organization. Figure it out as a team – it’s a lot easier than trying to figure everything out on your own.
  • Challenge yourself. Always push to do more than you’re asked. Not only can it improve the way you’re viewed in the organization, but it can also boost the image of the entire company.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. You’re in a new position, so the doors for creativity are wide open. Have a great idea? Tell someone about it and try it out!
  • Be flexible. Embrace this one. You’re helping to define what your job is – be ready for that description to change every so often and adapt to those changes. Being flexible is the best way to take on those obstacles I mentioned before.

It all boils down to letting your excitement override any of your misgivings. Doing something completely new and out of the norm is scary, but it can be the best experience you’ve ever had. It certainly has been for me.

– Kaylea Notarthomas 

Keep me on your “Radar”: PN’s latest monitoring specialist

Hi! I’m Kaylea Notarthomas and I’ve been having a blast interning at Porter Novelli Atlanta since September. Aside from my professional life, I am a musician. I sing, am a pianist of 18 years, and also have experience playing the French horn, mellophone, marimba, vibraphone, djembe and viola. I’m big sister to three wonderful siblings and a proud native of Syracuse, NY (Go Orange!). A self-proclaimed nerd, I love nothing more than curling up on the couch with a good book and mug of hot chocolate.

When I was 11, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. A year later I was told I had thyroid cancer. As a diabetic and cancer survivor, I’m a passionate advocate and strive to raise two things: awareness about the diseases and money, money, money to fight for cures. My hope is that one day in the near future, no child—no person at all, for that matter—will ever have to suffer through the challenges I faced.

I graduated from the University of Georgia (Glory, glory!) last May with a dual degree in Public Relations and Psychology. My most thrilling PR moment as a senior was winning an honorable mention as a member of UGA’s 2011 Bateman Team.  The Bateman Case Study Competition is sponsored by PRSSA. To even be selected for the team is an enormous honor, especially because the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has a history of success in the competition. Our talented 5-member team ran an entire campaign—from research through evaluation—on a small budget over the course of about five months for a national client. The experience was the perfect capstone to my college career and a great way to jump-start my adventure in the real world.

When I graduated, I knew I wanted to build a career in public relations. What I didn’t know is that I would end up embarking on a PR journey far from what I expected. The summer after graduation I got an email from one of my professors (Thank you, Dr. Jones!) asking if I would be interested in applying for a position at Porter Novelli as part of a new media “command center,” now known as PN Radar. I didn’t even have to think twice. I am thrilled to be working at PN and excited to see what lies ahead.

– Kaylea Notarthomas