Internship in Public Relations

Internship Period/Type

This internship will run for 10 weeks. Interns are required to work 20 hours each week and will be paid $150 per week.


The intern will report to The Heartland Institute’s communications director.


The internship will involve a wide variety of public relations responsibilities, including print and broadcast media relations; event marketing and promotion; “new media” and social networking managing; and speaking engagement scheduling. Among the specific tasks that will be assigned to the intern during this period:

  • Daily interaction/promotion using Heartland’s Facebook and Twitter accounts; finding compelling topics “in the news” that Heartland can share with others who embrace freemarkets and liberty; creating image memes to promote Heartland principles, stories, and activities; commenting on the posts of allies and friends.
  • Blog and Heartland digital magazine updates: Proficiency with back-end WordPress management a plus. Find and re-post on the blog and Heartlander work by Heartland staffers, fellows, and policy advisors that has been published elsewhere.
  • Podcast production: Assist the deputy communications director with production and promotion of the Heartland Daily Podcast.
  • Original content blog posting: Write a blog post once a week on a topic approved by director of communications. Also write at least two blog posts about a Heartland Daily Podcast and embed the audio on the blog.
  • Assist with the PR and Marketing Departments in promotion of Heartland events: determine appropriate outlets for calendar announcements (print) and public service announcements (radio) at the direction of the director of communications and the director of marketing; draft announcements and submit them to online publications; work with communications director and art department to develop event invitation; identify opportunities for additional media promotion of events – editorial board meetings, radio interviews with event speakers, invite media to attend/cover the event; podcast recordings, etc. – and pursue those opportunities.
  • Talk radio show development: telephone and email contact with talk radio show hosts currently in Heartland’s database and receiving Heartland materials to determine their interest in our work. For those who express strong interest, immediately “pitch” the person on setting up an interview with a Heartland spokesperson. Act as liaison between the talk radio show and the Heartland spokesperson to ensure all details are worked out. Follow up with both parties after the scheduled interview.
  • Assist events director in speaking engagements development: research groups that might be interested in having a Heartland spokesperson as a speaker; draft cover letter to accompany promotional mailing to those groups; follow-up telephone calls to determine interest and schedule speaker. Act as liaison between groups and speaker to ensure all details – including travel arrangements – are worked out.
  • Administrative: Heartland tracks the performance of its public relations efforts closely. The intern will be expected to perform some data entry tasks (database updates on addresses/phones, recording in performance tables of clips received, talk shows arrangements, speaking engagements scheduled, etc.) and work with the deputy communications director to prepare regular performance reports.
  • Out-of-office work: The intern will be expected to attend Chicago-area events hosted by Heartland to assist with registration, site setup, and other activities. Depending on interest and availability, the intern may also be asked to travel with other staff to represent Heartland at events sponsored by others. 

Generally, it is expected the intern will spend one-half of his/her time in research and writing activities; one-quarter in telephone work; and one-quarter in administrative. That mix may change, however, based on the intern’s abilities and Heartland’s needs during the internship period.

Expected Skills

The PR intern is expected to have:

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, combined with a professional demeanor.
  • Significant experience and fluency with WordPerfect or Microsoft Word for Windows and WordPress blogging software. Will be trained on other “back-end” website programs.
  • Knowledge of public policy issues and free-market thought.
  • Attention to detail and ability to make reasoned judgments.
  • Experience with Web research, professional e-mail communications, and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.


Email your resume, cover letter, and three writing samples to Wanda Davis at [email protected].