5 ways to kick-start your PR career
So, you’re starting a career in PR – welcome to the world of media monitoring, research, writing copy, and working on client accounts!
Since completing my Bachelor degree last November, I find it difficult to explain to friends and family what it is that I do for a living because there is so much involved!
PR is a constantly evolving industry and an exciting space to be in. I have learned that it is important to be adaptable ready for anything. For those like myself who are just starting out, here are my top five tips for starting a career in PR.
1. Do your research
The effort you put in now to gain an understanding of the company you work for and the clients you are servicing will certainly make a big difference in future. At Honner, there are a flurry of financial terms that I am constantly ‘Googling’ just so I can understand what I am writing about!
The best way to start researching is by subscribing to newsletters and reading publications so you can become familiar with the language, journalists and environment you are working in. Another great way is by just asking someone – most understand what it is like to be in your position and are happy to help.
2. Look the part
When working in a corporate environment, it is important to look the part. Dressing professionally shows respect for the company and the client, and helps to create a great first impression.
3. Manage expectations
As a grad, people understand that the role is new to you and will help you. However, it is important to get to know the preferences and expectations of your supervisors and colleagues so you don’t disappoint. Remember everyone works differently.
Some ways to do this include listening to the directions they offer, or simply asking them or others for suggestions on ways to measure up to your supervisor’s expectations.
4. Develop a complete LinkedIn profile
I was recruited via LinkedIn, so this is an important one to me. Making sure your profile is up-to-date and well-written helps you to stand out and get a foot in the door. PLUS it gives you a chance to build your own personal brand – important in an industry that is all about branding
Of course, building and leveraging your networks on LinkedIn can play a large part at the start of your PR career. Aim to grow and improve your connections, share content and engage in online networking, either one-on-one or by joining relevant groups.
5. PR is about relationships
At the end of the day, PR is all about ‘who you know’. My tip for new grads starting out is to introduce yourself and get involved as much as possible. This may be by offering to help others or participating in social activities with your work peers.
Mentors can be another great resource to leverage in your early PR career. Seek out people who can help guide you and offer advice for whatever challenges you may stumble upon.
Public Relations presents many exciting opportunities and challenges, and I count myself lucky to be included in an amazing team at Honner who have introduced me to this wacky world. My last (secret) tip is to remember to have fun, and enjoy what PR has to offer. You can do it!