Interning in PR for the Minnesota Vikings

CATEGORIES: Student Perspective

Emily Benda, junior in journalism and mass communication

This summer, I had the opportunity to work the Minnesota Vikings Training Camp as a public relations intern. Within the short two weeks of camp, I’ve put in over 100 hours and learned more about the media within a large organization.

Going into this internship, I was nervous about my lack of sports knowledge. However, everyone at the Vikings was so supportive and within a day, I was able to catch on to most of the sports jargon and identify all the players and coaches.

As an intern, I work on creating press materials, such as interview transcripts, to help out sports reporters. Almost every day I assist in hosting a press conference and transcribe the questions and responses so reporters can have accurate notes.

I spend the majority of my time on the field during team practices with the media and coordinating interviews with players. I also research information and content published related to the Vikings organization to create a catalog of all Vikings media coverage so we can keep track of our public perception.

As a journalism major, it has been insightful to see the other side of the information process. Our public relations team works hard to ensure reporters have access to certain people and materials while keeping our players, coaches and staff comfortable with the system. I am also able to chat with reporters about their stories and see first hand how they handle press conferences and one on one interviews.

One of the biggest takeaways from this experience is realizing the importance of the ability to keep cool in any situation. I’ve seen reporters interview some of their favorite players and not be able to hide their excitement. This only makes the interaction uncomfortable and the interviewee to lose interest in answering questions.

However, I’ve also see broadcast reporters trip up on their words on camera, lightly laugh it off and move on. By observing reporters’ mistakes and successes, I hope I’ve developed more wisdom in the art of interviewing for my future career in communication.