This post was originally published on this site
After years of controversy over unpaid internships, the picture for PR newbies is brightening as more agencies are vowing to pay their fledgling help.
The PR Council has announced that its members pledged to pay their interns in the United States at least minimum wage in their market.
The policy—which goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020—follows debate between those who call paying interns a matter of justice and those who point to the invaluable experience an intern gains.
“These interns are getting real-world experience,” says PR Council President Kim Sample. “They are working on client business as a part of a team—super-valuable experience. At the same time, they’re really contributing in meaningful ways. So they must be compensated.”
The debate has heated up in recent years. Spurred by the nonprofit Pay Our Interns, the U.S. Congress in March approved pay for its traditionally unpaid interns after public shaming, The Washington Post reported. The Wall Street Journal and others have weighed in, asking, “Are Unpaid Internships Exploiting Students?”
The association represents 110 top U.S. public relations firms, among them Edelman, FleishmanHillard and Ogilvy Public Relations.
“Properly shaped and managed internship experiences are critical to preparing young talent for future positions,” Gail Heimann, PRC board chair and Weber Shandwick president, said in a statement.
The decision drew praise from Tina McCorkindale, president and CEO of the Institute for Public Relations, as well as others in the industry.
“I applaud PR Council’s mandate, and I hope more industry leaders follow