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I always knew that PR was the right career path for me. After graduating from university, I took up those all-important internships, which I knew were vital if I wanted to land my first job in PR. I’ve learnt that PR is hard work, but an extremely rewarding industry to work in. For any business, large or small, communication is essential and PR is what drives this.
Here are the top five tips I can share for all fellow PR newbies, or those contemplating a career in comms.
Time management is essential. Working in an agency environment means you’ll be tasked with a variety of jobs that all need doing at once. You’ll also come up against demanding clients, who expect stellar service. You’ll be required to deliver and turning something in late simply won’t cut the mustard, so make sure you plan your day, week and even the week after that. And always, ask for clear deadlines – procrastination is not a PR’s friend.
Ignore most of what you learnt at university, PR is not the place for lengthy words and over indulgent explanations. Clients want concise, consistent and engaging copy and this skill can’t be learnt overnight. Blog and thought-leadership content needs to be in the client’s voice and tone, so in PR you’re required to wear several hats.
Journalists receive hundreds of emails from PRs a day, all trying to win them over with the latest ground-breaking story. Knowing what your chosen journalist writes about and even likes, can pay dividends in months to come. Take that extra five minutes out of your day to do your background research, go that extra mile and reference their relevant articles in your pitch. Not only will this nurture their ego, but they’ll be more likely to come to you in their time of need.
It’s always hard getting feedback on your work, you’ll have spent hours crafting the perfect article to find out in a matter of minutes that it needs re-working. Learn to love feedback and take it in your stride, co-workers are there to help – and often have years of experience to share. Although sometimes your pride will take a beating, asking for honest edits and advice from co-workers will help you crack bad habits and pick up one ones you didn’t know you had.
A positive, can do attitude goes a long way in PR. Demonstrating a genuine interest in the PR industry and sectors your clients operate in can reap real rewards. Having enthusiasm for your work is the best way to develop and grow, and this will be contagious for your colleagues and clients too.