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Interning in the AV Industry

My introduction to the world of AV and the industry as a whole was unexpected. From a public relations student who had only a sliver of understanding of the technology industry, I can say that my introduction to the AV industry has been a challenging, yet exciting one. For me, it is akin to learning a new language; grasping the concepts, terminology and all the facets of the audiovisual industry takes time.

An internship is a nerve-racking yet exciting start to a college student’s future. This job represented not only my first opportunity to work in my desired field, but the start of my career. I embraced my internship with an open mind—willing to learn and build upon my knowledge. 

I was ready to display what I learned throughout the past two and a half years at the University of Rhode Island and achieve my goal of fully understanding a company and its clients. All the excitement and preparation encouraged me to take on the opportunity to work at Caster Communications; a boutique PR, marketing, and social media agency that specializes in helping technology clients in the AV and smart home industry expand their global reach. 

Getting to Know the Industry

When I began my first few weeks interning at Caster Communications, all I knew was that I would be working in the technology industry. Prior to this internship, technology to me was just an industry where leaders and innovators worked together creating new devices and solutions. The term 'AV’ was not on my radar until I began to delve deeper into the field. 

Growing up, we had an AV room at school, but my classmates and I did not really know what the AV stood for.  Prior to this internship, I did not grasp the concept which means, for the entirety of my life, the AV industry has been growing and flourishing in the world around me. AV was something I used every day, yet a concept I had to work on to fully understand it. 

Day to Day

As an intern in the AV industry, each morning when I step into the office, my first task is to do research. In a rapidly growing and changing industry such as AV, it’s important to be up-to-date and informed to ensure that I continue to understand the industry and comprehend the stories the media are telling. 

I research trends in the industry to keep up with any growth so I can leverage what I’ve learned on my projects. Whether I am running a deep Google search or reading through the network of #AVTweeps on Twitter, I know that to prosper and progress, I must be well versed. 

Each day brings something a little bit different, and I am constantly working on different projects for clients. In my role, it’s important to take a step back and understand what the specific needs of the clients we represent are. Asking questions guides the project work I do to help yield the best results. For example, does the client handle residential or commercial AV? Is the focus on individual audiovisual devices or dependent systems? I would be unable to compile a media list or research competitors without accurately understanding the client, the market, and the respective industry. 

I’ve come to appreciate the satisfaction I feel when I read a news story on the latest AV innovation or research other companies for a client’s product release and I can truly understand the technology being featured. 

I am still learning new pieces of information each day, and I will continue to do so as this industry is constantly advancing. It is not always about your time spent in a company, but about the hard work and effort you put into learning about your clients and their industry.

Equipped with what I’ve learned about the industry—even in just a short amount of time—I am comfortable working on projects for clients that thrive in an industry I once thought was out of my grasp. It is inspiring to see just how involved the employees of Caster Communications are with their clients; not only representing them to the media but acting as a member of their client’s company. 

I believe true AV professionals need to stay connected with other industry leaders and communicate with their client’s to guarantee the best quality.

Hayley Keen
Hayley Keen is a senior at the University of Rhode Island pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations through the Harrington School of Communication and Media. She is a public relations intern at Caster Communications.