2015 PR People Awards: Intern of the Year

Winner: Austin Courtney, Public Relations Intern, TheSabre.com

Currently an intern at TheSabre.com, Austin Courtney’s passion for people and their stories led her to public relations, and her commitment and professional attitude, methodical analytic skills, and creative mind will help her succeed.

During her summer 2015 internship at Susan Davis International (SDI), Courtney, a student at the University of Virginia, grew to be an invaluable member of SDI’s media and events teams. In her first week, SDI staged a White House event for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and Courtney was able to provide critical support developing event materials and media information documents, and leading the welcoming process for V.I.P. guests.

A quick learner and creative thinker, Courtney was tapped for projects that required fresh eyes and extra brainpower. She designed innovative graphic resources for clients and spearheaded the development of a full social media outreach strategy for a nonprofit client. She also became integral to the firm’s new cybersecurity practice, working with subject matter experts to organize and distribute a weekly thought-leader blog, and building a new mini-site for the practice from scratch, which Susan Davis continues to use.

Courtney’s passion (and talent) for the public relations field are evident through the excellent work she did for Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation’s campaign to raise funds to build the first girls college in rural Afghanistan. Courtney led the intern team through the design and implementation of a full social media strategic plan and subsequent outreach to both media contacts and the general public.

The campaign was an extraordinary success – producing 278 funders nationwide to help Razia’s Ray of Hope exceed the funding goal of $115,000, enough to make the college for girls a reality. After Courtney completed her internship, she continued to spearhead promotional outreach for Razia through her own social media and personal networks. She plans to mobilize her sorority to run a fundraiser for the Foundation this fall and host Razia as a speaker at her college.

Honorable Mentions: N/A