Sophia Cutino (she/her), Culture and Media ’23
Unpaid Internship Grant
Company: Frank PR
Type of work: Publicity
As a PR Intern, I provide general administrative assistance. The days usually start with scouring the day’s print newspapers then online publications for press breaks. I learned how to properly format specialized emails to different production companies, sending in any breaks for clients to the head publicists for approval before submitting to the filmmakers and their team. I have become exponentially more comfortable talking to filmmakers and journalists directly through repetition and practice in formal writing. I have also helped the head publicists draft pitches, email blasts, and social media posts for new articles, breaks, developments in production. Daily news tracking on print and online publications has familiarized with The Trades and spotting the differences between commercial publications.
Who was supporting you in your work? How did you work with them? Molly Kucharski – Publicist. At work (as in most places), I started out pretty quiet and nervous to speak up. Over the past few months, a camaraderie among the team has developed, and I find the interns and I talking more, especially in our free time. I originally was hesitant to ask any questions, but now I feel comfortable asking anyone in the office for help when I need it (but only after I have done everything I can to find the answer myself). I have increasingly volunteered for projects and tasks, trying to sponge everything I can in this short time. I am still usually quiet, but I am not nervous to speak or joke when I have something to say; however, I am more concerned with learning, working hard, and being thorough in individual and group projects. The head publicists have been conducting private meetings with the interns to teach us about specific aspects of the job that we can look forward to like pitching, press releases, junkets, and campaigns.
How has this project has been impactful or transformative — for you personally or for those this work has impacted:
Interning at Frank PR has been extremely helpful in narrowing down my career interests. I knew right away that PR isn’t exactly what I want to do, but I am very glad I stuck with it because I gained industry knowledge, beneficial habits, and a clearer understanding of the film industry and my own interests. Watching and reviewing so many documentaries has deepened my focus into humanitarian documentary work. I am able to identify the general stages of a film (pre-production, on-set production, post-production, and marketing), and I am more confident that I want to work within the former two. Reading The Trades and researching journalists has encouraged me to look further into journalism (which was originally my major before switching after COVID), refocusing and recentering on my previous interests.
What would you do differently? How would you advise a student who is going to do something similar?
I would have recommended this internship if you know you are interested in publicity. It was extremely helpful for getting involved in the industry, but I would advise bringing your own questions from researching the publicists’ typical tasks and asking how to do those directly instead of waiting for them to teach you because it is easy for them to skip over things that are second nature in the career.
The two owners of the business are strong and confident women that inspire me to take my space in a male-dominated field and work as hard as you can to do what you’re passionate about. I am thankful for all the resources I’ve garnered in this internship from publications to journalists to filmmakers as well as increased insight in the creative and strenuous processes of filmmaking.
I am furthering what I am learning in school with media and journalism ethics by learning its effect through publicity; I will take these tools as I move forward in documentary and photojournalism.