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A Glimpse into Health and Wellness My Internship at Spotlight Agency

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Over my Fall 2022 semester at Hofstra, I interned in a remote position with Spotlight Agency, a Los Angeles based full-service public relations agency that specializes in health and beauty. Spotlight has an array of clients featuring physicians and dentists, medical groups, and health and beauty products. During my time at Spotlight, I mainly aided in increasing the online presence of their clients, specifically Dr. Steven Williams and Dr. Thaïs Aliabadi with her company Trimly, a weight loss treatment experience.

Before starting with Spotlight, I came across many difficulties in finding and maintaining an internship position. During the summer, I lived on LinkedIn searching and applying for as many internships as I could. These efforts were not fruitful as I was either declined or ignored altogether. In the end, I contacted Dr. Kara Alaimo, a Hofstra PR professor that I had worked closely with in Spring 2022. She immediately found me a position that would start right up in September. I was immensely excited for my first week and enjoyed my time there until the agency sent an email firing all their interns due to being ill-prepared for managing interns with their packed schedule. Since I was two weeks into the fall semester, I once again looked to Dr. Alaimo to figure out an alternative and she contacted a friend at Spotlight Agency. Within a week, I was starting my intern training.

As an intern in a remote position, my week consisted of checking in on my weekly tasks distributed by my intern supervisor who I could contact at any time with questions or clarifications on anything. Along with my deadlines, I was also expected to attend a weekly zoom meeting with my supervisor and the founder/PR team executive where we discussed upcoming events/projects, client updates and brainstormed ideas for pitches and media opportunities. Even with the serious content, the meetings were very easy-going and interesting to be a part of, as I got to witness first-hand how events like gift guides and TV appearances work. During these meetings, I listened in, took notes, and participated in proposing possible ideas and insight that the team was very receptive to.

For the majority of my time at Spotlight, I focused on researching and pitching to online journalists to gain online press for Spolight’s clients. A majority of my tasks revolved around looking for health and beauty journalists to pitch to that covered topics like plastic surgery, Brazilian Butt Lifts, weight loss, and healthy living. I created and sent out a list of articles and their writers to be approved by my supervisor and team executive. Once I received the approved list, I would start drafting pitches to send out and wait for a response. With this, I was able to hone my pitching skills and receive insightful feedback from the team executive. In my time there, I was able to secure an online feature on Allure for Dr. Steven WIlliams, the President-Elect of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Aside from finding journalists, I helped update and curate new media lists utilizing an assortment of online resources from Cision to Muck Ruck to the go-to Google.

Under Spotlight Agency, I was able to learn language is immensely important in the health world as to not falsely advertise products. For example, a beauty brand that helps people relax cannot use wording like, “aid mental health” as they do not have the exact scientific proof that the product helps mental health. Instead, the brand can say this product “encourages relaxation” therefore helping one's efforts in mental wellness. I also found that timing is everything. In order to book a TV feature or appear on holiday gift guides, arrangements have to be made at least six months in advance. For example, in meetings we were discussing holiday gift guides for Mother's Day in November.

When discussing remote internships with classmates, I found opinions on remote positions can be quite controversial. Some classmates preferred working in person with their team in an office setting where others preferred to choose their workspace and complete work on their own time. Personally, I resonate with the latter. Due to joining later in the semester, my designated working hours were scheduled around my classes and having a remote position allowed me to work wherever would be easiest to make it on time to my next class. Additionally, If I finished my work for the day, I could either use the remaining time to relax or complete class assignments. I was consistently in contact with my supervisor over text, so I did not feel left out of the office experience entirely. The only con I found with working remotely was on collaborative assignments with the other interns on the team. Since our schedules and working hours did not align, many assignments were either delayed or completed by myself as we were in limited contact. With this situation specifically, an in-person position would have functioned better but it did not dampen my time at Spotlight. If you are looking for a health and beauty PR agency for your first internship, definitely check out Spotlight Agency and tell them Gabriella sent you!

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