Paid internships on the rise in PR industry

The PR Council mandates that its members pay interns for their work. The move follows increasing controversy about offering on-the-job experience as the sole compensation.

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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.”

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