An Intern’s Farewell: Christopher Thorne

Frankly, I did not intend on returning to Maine following the conclusion of Junior year at American University. However, as it were, I ended up back in Portland interning at a boutique public relations firm. I distinctly remember my first day at Broadreach. Walking in, I was struck by both the size and layout of the office – a small, open office. It quickly became clear to me, that this was a work environment that fostered discussion, camaraderie and was conducive to productivity. I was given the opportunity to take a firsthand look at how the PR industry operates, and as I conclude my summer internship, I recognize how little I knew about client engagement, how a PR firm is run, and even the field of public relations itself when I first started here.

 This was my first foray into the field of public relations and I found it to be immensely valuable. Prior to this, my only “experience” came in the form of classes I have taken at school. While this provided a nice base knowledge and familiarity with the field itself, there is only so much one can learn in the classroom before it has to be applied in real life, see it in action, and see tangible results. Coming in, this was my main goal, to further familiarize myself with the industry and be privy to client engagement on a firsthand basis. The work Broadreach does encompasses many fields, a wide swath of industries and sectors, working with a diverse group of clients. During my time here, I was able to gain valuable insight and a complete picture of this process.

Working at Broadreach allowed me to see a whole different side of the city and Maine itself, assisting local businesses and organizations in helping actualize their goals. It was a busy, yet exciting, summer here at Broadreach and the team worked on many exciting projects. Notably, Broadreach aided the Maine Brewer’s Guild in sending their “Beer Box” to Iceland, while I personally worked with the Maine Grain Association in preparation for their Kneading Conference and subsequent Maine Artisan Bread Fair. Having this hands-on experience crystallized many concepts for me. Coming in, I knew that a PR firm acted as an intermediary between the client and media/press, but here I realized what goes on behind the scenes and all the steps necessary for flawless execution. It is one thing to talk about dealing with the media, but it is another to do it on behalf of a real client, with real financial implications. Seeing how my colleagues worked and dealt with the media was formative for me. There is a certain sense of acumen one must possess to be successful in this field, one has to be able to recognize and take advantage of opportunities when they are presented but also create them.

 In my final few days at Broadreach, I have been able to reflect on the summer and my internship experience as a whole. The summer flew by, as soon as I felt that I had truly settled down and got into a routine, I am leaving. That being said, at Broadreach, I was able to see projects through from their inception, doing the initial business development research on potential clients, compiling media lists, reaching out to media, following up with media calls and more. I am thankful I was not subjected to one specific field or task and thus able to get a true sense of what it means to be a PR professional. I have takeaways and skills I cultivated that I will be able to apply in my future endeavors, whatever they may be. I will always look back fondly at my time at Broadreach; it has been a great experience and I hope that I was able to make the lives of those working here a little bit easier this summer. This is a close-knit office, everyone operates on the same wavelength, and are all consummate professionals. I thank everyone at the office for accepting me as part of the team during these past ten weeks and I will especially miss the office pooches, Roxy and Kellogg!