Preparing for a performance review


By Alicia Wells

It’s mid-point review season for our Peppercom interns, where we check on their progress so far and make sure they’re getting the most out of their internship.  We speak with supervisors on their individual account teams to find out the things they’re doing well and how they can continue to improve, and how this stacks up with how the intern thinks he or she is doing.

While all companies have their own review process, here are some general tips for preparing for a performance review that you may find helpful in your PR careers:

  • Assess your own strengths and weaknesses and come prepared with examples of your stellar performance, and how you’ve continued to work on any shortcomings.  We’ll likely have heard examples from your supervisors of your great work, but in case they missed something it’s a good idea for you to be ready to chime in.  On the flip side, we all make mistakes and need to constantly improve our skills, so showing that you have recognized this and are making efforts to continuously improve will go a long way.
  • Hopefully you’ve been given an opportunity to pitch to the media.  Come with some examples of pitching you’ve done, whether it’s email, phone, or even editorial calendar follow-up.  It all counts and shows that you’re willing to learn and jump in on what’s a major part of our business.  If you haven’t done any pitching, don’t be afraid to ask your reviewer for advice on which opportunities you can get involved in or who may be willing to let you “pitch” in (sorry, that pun was intended).
  • While it may be too late at this point, it’s smart to check in with your individual supervisors on your own in an informal manner, just to get a sense of how you’re doing and any advice they have for improvements.  Not only will they appreciate the initiative, they may have some helpful insights for you before you even get to the review stage.  If you’re getting your review soon, trying checking in a month from now to get updated feedback from your direct supervisors.

For those of you who have been through the review process, what other advice or tips can you offer?  And for those yet to receive one, let us know if you have any questions on how to prepare.




At my internship this summer, I felt like I could be contributing much more than they were asking from me so, for my midsummer review, I brought in a list of ideas of projects I thought I might be able to provide insight on. My managers appreciated my initiative and let me take the reigns on the tasks and projects I suggested working on and they even let me come up with a project independently that ended up being of value to the company. My internship ended up being a very rewarding experience once I spoke up and put my ideas forth!


That’s an awesome idea, Courtney. Sometimes an internship is only what you make of it- and you clearly made a lot of this experience, for both you and your employer. Good work!

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