The National Advocacy and Public Relations Committee is dedicated to researching and creating CPRS policy on key issues facing the industry. This year the committee is addressing the important issue of unpaid internship in the PR industry. In June of 2021 CPRS issued a news release, clearly taking a position on the issue.
The committee is now working on a project to further advocate for paid internship in our industry. Unpaid internship is an exploitive practice that screens low-income young people out of our profession. In an age of rising tuition and living costs, unpaid internships mean that only students from comfortable backgrounds can persevere. CPRS can do more to end this practice. Interns perform work that generates real outcomes for their employers. The public relations industry must recognize the value that interns bring to their workplace and pay them accordingly.
CPRS defines internship as a non-voluntary, contractual form of supervised work experience, of any duration, that benefits the employer and the intern. This is not meant to discourage employers from allowing students to participate in a work-shadowing or short-term experience program that forms a part of a student's coursework.
The Advocacy and Public Relations Committee is developing resources to raise awareness of the importance and value of paid internship. As information and resources are available they will be posted to this page.