PR Council Membership Commits to Paid Internships

The PR Council (PRC), an association representing 110 top U.S. public relations firms, today announced a new intern pay policy.


The PR Council (PRC), an association representing 110 top U.S. public
relations firms, today announced a new intern pay policy. Effective
January 1, 2020, the policy confirms that all Member firms will pay U.S.
interns at least minimum wage for their market. The new policy will be
added to the PRC’s Code of Ethics, which is annually reaffirmed and
signed by Member agency principals.

“I am proud that our industry is putting a stake in the ground on this
issue and I hope others will follow,” said Gail Heimann, PRC Board Chair
and Weber Shandwick President. “Properly shaped and managed Internship
experiences are critical to preparing young talent for future positions;
internships that are fairly compensated are an important way to bring a
more diverse body of accomplished talent into the industry.”

Prospective interns can visit to
identify PRC Member agencies.

“By making it crystal clear that our Members pay interns, we avoid any
misperceptions and misinformation,” said Kim Sample, PR Council
President, explaining, “when we recently surveyed members, we found a
few points of confusion, including whether some colleges and
universities require that internships be unpaid.”

The new policy states that Member firms believe, as a matter of
principle, that paying interns is in the best interest of the intern and
the firm, even if the student is receiving course credit. Unpaid,
short-term “externships” (no more than two weeks) consisting of only
shadowing are permitted.

A Member who has called for all agencies to pay interns for a decade,
Tony Signore, CEO & Managing Partner, Taylor, said, “The C-Suite across
all industries has turned a blind eye to this issue for too long.
Separate from the legal implications, paying interns is unequivocally
the proper and ethical decision to make.”

About the PR Council

Established in 1998, the PR Council (PRC) is composed of America’s
premier global, midsize, regional and specialty agencies across every
discipline and practice. It is the leading trade association for
agencies, designed to empower the present and next generation of
communications professionals, industry innovators and business leaders
through education, events and industry resources. The PRC’s active
members from over 110 leading U.S. agencies represent more than 80%
(est.) of all U.S. PR firm revenues and employ over 12,000 professionals.