The world of public relations is exciting, fast-paced and always evolving. While the PR industry can be all those things, it can also be a little intimidating to future and new PR professionals. As many transition from their academic career to a professional one, it can be hard to navigate the always changing environment. To help, we’ve put together our top tips and advice to future and new PR professionals!
Ask for Feedback – It is important to find a mentor or environment where you feel comfortable to ask questions and for advice. It is always a good idea to reach out for informal and formal feedback. Discussing accomplishments and improvements shows you are both engaged and that you are eager to learn and grow. After receiving the feedback it’s important to apply it and set milestones for yourself so you can easily show future employers how you are able to take constructive criticism and apply it to your work.
Build Your Network – You’ve heard it before, but it’s all about who you know. Networking is a crucial component to advancing yourself in the PR professional world. Making connections and building a network has evolved so much in the digital age and it is more important than ever. With so many online platforms, it’s about who knows you and your abilities. Social media is a great tool to connect with people and establish yourself in the professional world. Platforms, like LinkedIn and Twitter, facilitate a professional space to demonstrate skills and engage with others. One way to keep track of your network as it continues to grow is to create a Google Spreadsheet with the name, email and description of the relationship so you can always reference back to it.
Be a Sponge – In the beginning of a career in public relations, it’s crucial to stay hungry to learn. Retain as much information as possible by engaging and asking questions. Personal goal setting is a great way to ease the transition into the world of PR while still actively retaining knowledge about the industry. During an internship keep a list of questions that come up during your assignments that you can review with your supervisor. You can also ask if you can be included in client meetings or phone calls so you have the opportunity to really get to know the client and more of the details that goes into your work.
Give Them Everything and More – In order to stand out at the start of your career, always be proactive in your work and anticipate your boss’s needs. Give them more than they asked for and request for new projects or assignments when the opportunity arises. A quick tip about standing out is to stay up to date on current events and trends in order to produce credible writing and work. If you are able to do this and suggest a new idea that can be applied to a client your employer will see that you have the drive and passion to contribute to the office.