Written by Smoak PR

Meet Our Summer Interns

Julia Wrenn: 

My name is Julia Wrenn. I am a junior at the University of South Carolina, majoring in Public Relations, with a minor in Retail. Meeting and interacting with individuals is my favorite aspect of PR. During my internship with Smoak PR this summer, I look forward to meeting with clients while assisting with their PR needs. I have decided to pursue Public Relations because I value out of office experiences, such as meeting with clients, gathering content, and achieving clients’ goals. I am sure this internship will help me develop more knowledge about PR and further my career in the field.

Rachel Page:


My name is Rachel Page. I am a senior Communications Studies major at Furman University. I am incredibly excited to have this opportunity with Smoak PR this summer. I decided to declare a Communications Studies major because I believe that I will have a valuable skill set that can be applied to a variety of fields. With that in mind, I hope to gain more experience in the Public Relations field this summer to see if it is a career field that I would be interested in pursuing after graduation. I hope that my time at Smoak will give me a ‘hands-on’ approach to interacting with clients, meeting deadlines, and a better sense of the professional atmosphere that I will be working in after college. 

Julia Monninger:

My name is Julia Monninger. I am a rising senior at Clemson University studying Communication with a minor in Business Administration. Throughout my summer internship at Smoak PR, I am looking forward to learning about the fast-paced nature of the public relations industry, knowing how to maintain the reputation of a brand, and connecting/networking with clients and everyone in the office. Another side of public relations that I hope to learn more about is event planning and social media management. I would love to learn how to plan events for clients and run them successfully, as well as choose the best images and captions that resonate with people in the community. I am so excited to begin my internship at Smoak PR and develop skills that I can use during a future career!

Kit Miller:

My name is Kit Miller. I am a rising senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in Mass Communications and minoring in Fashion Merchandising. I chose to study communications because of the critical role it plays in business, regardless of the field. During my time at Smoak PR this summer, I hope to learn more about the communications field, make connections with clients and others in the field, as well as  understanding the ins and outs of the industry. Something I am most excited for is the out-of-office element as well as being able to aid clients in giving them the best public relations experience possible. I am so looking forward to my time at Smoak PR this summer and beginning my career in PR!

We are all very excited to be starting this summer in the office, at least most days out of the week. This experience holds a lot of new challenges and tasks, but we are eager to start tackling those goals together. Though we are from different schools, and slightly different academic paths, our different experiences should help us share different perspectives on the same challenges. We cannot wait to get this summer started!

Written by Smoak PR

Trends in Digital Media Communications

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that the world we live in has become reliant on digital communication. It is easy to become overwhelmed with information being thrown at us from an overabundance of platforms, people, and outlets. As a leader in our industry, it is critical to navigate the swarm of digital communications and engage appropriately on a variety of platforms, while continuing to discover new trends that ultimately encourage our client’s success. Below are a few digital communication trends we expect to see grow in popularity in 2021.

  1. Enhanced User Generated Content: User Generated Content (UGC) is any type of content (reviews, images, videos, audio, etc.) that users publish themselves on online platforms stemming interactions and information shares that develop thought leaders. The onslaught of invasive online advertising techniques quickly lowered consumers’ ad tolerance. The rise in popularity of ad blockers and search engines like DuckDuckGo are indicators of the intrusive targeting of online consumers. UGC is now welcomed by many brands as an organic and trusted source to reach and gain credibility with their audiences. 
  • Increase in Influencer content: Throughout 2020, users flocked to social media platforms to engage with friends, family and people around the world. Influencers’ personal lives, reviews and opinions were consumed at a higher volume than ever before. The human interaction that users craved was tapped into through live-streams, videos and more frequent posts. Influencer marketing is a strategy that is effectively used to promote products and services through partnerships with popular social media users who have a large, highly engaged audience. Influencer marketing is a key strategy that increases reach across social media audiences, builds brand trust, grows following on social platforms, and increases social traffic and sales.
  1. Surge of Purpose-Driven Initiatives from Brands: As social media platforms progress, users become more knowledgeable. It is critical for brands to position themselves as sincere and trustworthy through goodwill efforts and community relations. Brands that give back, listen to the world around them and respond are more trusted by consumers than those that refuse to acknowledge the tides of change. Purpose-driven initiatives such as donations to non-profits, volunteer work in the community and sponsorships are pivotal for retaining and building trust in consumers. We always encourage our clients to highlight their community involvement as it is proven to generate trust and value from online followers, while also increasing reach and popularity from those who may not be committed followers yet.
  1. Expansion of video marketing: Community is key and the use of creative movement and audio through videos engages consumer viewership of products and services. Videos humanize brands by allowing products and services to become more tangible. Users engage visually and auditorily simultaneously which produces a stronger retention time. Another trend in video marketing is production simplicity. We see this through the increased popularity of shorter clips such as Tik Tok videos, Instagram Reels and live streams. Brands are engaging with consumers by sharing bite-sized clips of their products and services rather than publishing longer and professionally polished content. Organic video sharing has been known to increase brand loyalty and engagement, as it highlights the “realness” of products and services as it pertains to everyday life.