“I was introduced to the fascinating world of public relations as an intern at a boutique PR agency, where, after proving my worth with tasks other interns couldn’t wrap their heads around, the owner threw me into the deep end and challenged me to generate publicity for their client, the luxury hotel Swissôtel Chicago. Always a lover of challenges, I set my sights on finding some way to have the hotel featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
When I finally reached the executive producer for the show, she told me the Oprah Winfrey Show had a longstanding relationship with the Omni Hotel, so another luxury hotel couldn’t be featured on the show. However, they were looking for a back-up hotel on the frequent occasions the Omni is booked. There would be no publicity, but the Swissôtel would earn substantial revenues from the bookings.
Excited by this turn of events, I ran to the PR agency owner to share my coup. The agency owner told me to drop it since the hotel would not pay them for this accomplishment.
I’ve never forgotten this experience as it set the benchmark for what my agency would never be. As an intern, I was getting paid only a stipend. It would have cost the agency nothing more to pass the opportunity on to their client. And while a sales opportunity is not publicity, I suspect the client would have been appreciative.”
– Lilian Raji