So you’ve nearly earned your degree in public relations and you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Now what?
Setting out into the “real world” can be intimidating, but focusing on a few key pieces of advice to set you up for success can go a long way. Some valuable advice for upcoming PR professionals:
Intern. Intern. Intern.
An internship can be one of the most rewarding experiences. It gives you the opportunity to serve in a real work environment, helps narrow down what you like and what you don’t like, gives you the chance to learn from professionals who are eager to teach, and allows you to build up your work experience and portfolio. While interning, it’s also good to remember that keeping a positive attitude and being eager to learn can go a long way.
Know your news
It’s important to know what’s going on in world and local news, as well as PR news, when creating content to share for your clients and to spot client coverage as soon as it’s published. Even if it’s just a quick scan of the news highlights for the day, it’s important to start somewhere. A quick read on Huffington Post or signing up for daily emails like The Skimm is a great way to start taking in the news and staying up-to-date. A few recommended PR publications include PR Week, PR News, PR Daily and weekly subscriptions like the New York Times’ In Advertising newsletter.
Larger cities become a lot smaller than they seem once you begin meeting people in the profession and building relationships with professionals you long to learn from. A simple introduction goes a long way and many professionals are willing to sit down and give advice to an eager listener. Never underestimate the power of networking and meeting new people in the field.
Know your AP style
No clue what AP style is? Start here. It’s important to always have a stylebook handy in the office and learn the key words you should look up when editing and proofing your writing.
Enjoy constructive criticism
Every bit of criticism you receive, whether it’s from a professor, mentor or boss, is meant to make you better and help you learn from mistakes. When it comes to writing, there’s no better feeling than getting a news release back with zero edits – but more often than not, that isn’t the case. Remember that as a beginner, there are lots of lessons to learn and that everyone has to start somewhere.
Take a breath, count to 10, (well, 5, actually) and follow these quick tips to start taking steps toward your PR career. The world is your oyster!
For more tips on furthering your career in the field of public relations, email us at The Brandon Agency.