Getting thrown into the deep end, hoping to swim!

My first two weeks at VIVA! have shown me some of the specialist skills required to operate in health + wellness public relations. I was thrown into the deep end as my previous communications internships were in consumer-driven environments. By the end of my first day I felt like a heavy sponge, having soaked up all that was going on in the office.

I had so many questions. It was made clear by VIVA!s Managing Director, Paul, that the staff were approachable and like walking medical PR encyclopedias. I was welcomed with my own desk and VIVA! email address and treated to a lovely lunch. My initial impression was ‘I’m going to like it here!’.

As an intern on your first day there is nothing more comforting and motivating than knowing your new working environment is full of positivity and passion. At VIVA! you’re always part of the employee equation, whether it’s your research, brainstorming ideas or digital savviness, your ideas are valued by the team.

I’m in the heart of the office, which is so beneficial, as it allows me to tune into office dialogue. From this dialogue I was able to pick up useful medical lingo, and the communication between staff actually answered some of my planned questions.

Tasks I worked on were for upcoming national campaigns, pitch presentations and a crisis management strategy. I worked on sourcing visuals for presentations that correlated with key campaign messaging, conducted media monitoring and current media analysis, data collection, and familiarising myself with VIVA!’s style of writing.

VIVA! is preparing to launch a major health news campaign that has allowed me to utilise my university research skills and search for up-to-date medical research, and then extract statistics and unique angles to offer the campaign leverage and flair.

Watching the development of this campaign is exciting – seeing how key messages are embedded into digital tools and listening to senior consultants conducting case study profiles to develop patient stories, confirmed how unique health + wellness communication is. I also participated in a strategic brainstorming session for an upcoming campaign and it was great to see how ideas are transformed into strategic communication recommendations through a snowballing of staff creativity.

At VIVA! Communications we diligently track our activity, which has increased my productivity and diligence in best utilising my time. One of the great things about this internship is that after each week I am given a progress report and feedback. It’s great to know what areas I’m excelling in and where I have room for improvement.

As an intern, you’re not expected to know everything, but the main thing is to try, ask questions, and be as instinctive and proactive as you can be. Each day at VIVA! has been different and there is always something to be done! Thank you VIVA! for giving me this opportunity.