2016 Agency Elite Awards: Best Training/Education Program

Winner: WE Communications - Centralized Internship Program

WE Communications has long recognized the value of offering paid internship opportunities to fledgling public relations practitioners. Over the course of its history, the company hired an average of 83 percent of its interns into permanent full-time positions. However, as the agency grew, expanding into new sectors and geographies, the consistency and quality of internships became varied, weakening the program’s reputation and value. In 2009 the agency launched a newly designed internship program. The leadership team redesigned the program’s guiding principles, which included closer alignment with the agency’s core values, as well as assigning interns direct client work while providing them access to higher-quality training.

Overall, the internship program has been hugely successful in meeting its objectives of identifying top new talent for the agency while delivering candidates an optimal experience. Hosting a centralized program across accounts and services at the agency allows interns to experience the breadth of WE’s reach, broadens exposure to the PR profession and creates more well-rounded professionals through trainings and hands-on experience. Since its inception in 2009, the program has brought in 228 interns and hired 179 of them on as full-time employees.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Hotwire PR - Hotwire DNA
  • Infinite Global - Attorneys vs. Accountants: Content Success Study
  • INK Public Relations - INK University
  • Newlink Academy