You’ve sharpened your PR skills, developed relationships and honed your copywriting craft over the last four years. Now what?
Entering the world of PR as a young professional can be daunting, but with jobs in PR expected to grow by 24 percent through 2018, there are plenty of opportunities to gain valuable industry experience from the start. While there’s no secret to success, there are tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way that can help you jumpstart your PR career. Here’s our advice for new grads:
Get Involved by Joining a Professional PR Organization
In a world where you are who you know, networking is essential.
“Joining professional and volunteer organizations outside of the workplace will help build your presence in the community. These organizations provide you with the opportunity to hone in on your PR skills, while providing you with an avenue to share your knowledge with others. I joined Junior League of Miami, which is a part of the AJLI and it’s helped me network through volunteer opportunities.” said GreenRoom’s Rebecca Casamayor.
By establishing connections and sharing your interests, you lay the foundation for a business relationship.
Not sure where to start? Ask a former internship colleague or a trusted professor.
Be Patient When it Comes to Finding the Right Position
As a fresh college graduate, you’re naturally eager and anxious to land a paying gig. However, you shouldn’t settle for just anything. Practice patience, as GreenRoom’s Dani Frank highlights here:
“Finding your first job won’t always happen in the first month, three months or even six months after you graduate. Don’t let this stress you out. Focus on finding an office you’ll be excited to show up to each day, a boss that you’ll be able to learn from and a company where you’ll have the potential to grow,” Frank said.
In short: Look for a job that will provide you with the experience and growth opportunity that’s right for you.
Feeling frustrated during your job search because you’re not hearing back from applications? Try updating your LinkedIn profile with these tips.
Don’t be Afraid to Stand Out in Your New Position
Starting your first PR position can be overwhelming, but it’s important to remember that simply trying (and sometimes failing!) is the best way to grow. Make a strong first impression at your new job by taking on unfamiliar tasks and sharing your fresh ideas.
“Accept new challenges. Don’t be afraid to go all in on something you’ve never done before. In my career, I’ve done everything from mitigating international crises to rebranding a city to speechwriting for the chairman for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. There’s not a class in the world that would have taught me how to do any of the above. But a willingness to learn and the courage to take risks will get you far in your career,” GreenRoom’s Austin Langlois said.
Stay up to Date with PR Industry News
Although you’re not physically sitting in a classroom anymore, learning is still a top priority. As the world of PR and media constantly evolves, so must you to maintain your expert status. Not only will this help your career, but sharing insights can make you a thought leader in the industry.
“The media landscape is constantly evolving. Although you have officially graduated from college, it is important to keep your finger on the pulse by indulging in industry literature. It’s always impressive when a recent graduate is well versed on industry happenings.” Casamayor said.
Understand Clients Goals From the Start
While every company wants to sell its product or service, that doesn’t mean every company has the same goals.
“You have to know what your clients’ goals are. Without that, you cannot be successful,” GreenRoom’s Alex Onaindia said.
The company could have very external goals like heightened brand awareness or selling into a key market, or a more internal focus like impressing an investor or improving employee retention. Ask questions and get specific when talking with your client.
By being persistent, establishing a network, and taking risks, you’re sure to set yourself up for success. Don’t forget, every PR professional was once in your shoes, so listen and learn from their experiences.
Now that you’re ready to begin your career in PR, read our blog post Letter to Future Public Relations Practitioners to find out what a career in PR really looks like from a recent graduate.