Getting a job in PR may sound easy, but if you really want to get a true public relations agency experience, you have to be resourceful, proactive, detail-oriented, and communicative. Coming from a PR background in school, the transition to a PR agency was pretty direct for me. However, not everyone takes that straightforward path to any career. Here are five ways to land a job in public relations:
Understand public relations
First of all, understanding public relations is the key to impressing anyone that will be interviewing you in the future. Knowing the difference between marketing, social media, advertising, and public relations is very important, especially if you intend to land a job at an agency. Find a PR pro and book a conversation with them to understand more about what PR professionals do and how it applies to business. It is key to understand where PR fits into the business development process before you get into an agency. Fully understanding this will help you understand what YOU need to achieve as a professional and how you can measure your successes.
Get an Internship
There is no school like the school of real life. The truth is, until you get out there you’ll never know what PR is like. It is an intense industry that is fast, nimble, and full of rejection. You have to have thick and creative skin to be in PR. The great thing about PR is that you can pretty much do anything after you get good at it. The bad thing about PR is that it’s a tough industry full of rejection, always forcing you to come up with new ideas. So if you’re relentless and competitive; PR is a great industry for you. Get that internship so you can really understand what’s expected of you, and remember we ALL had to have an internship at one point or another. You should entertain both paid and unpaid internships.
Learn the industry you want to go into
The cool thing about PR is that it applies to EVERY industry. Of course, we are in tech and cannabis, but there is PR for entertainment (what I originally wanted to do), fashion, healthcare, wellness and so much more. Every industry needs good communication, so learning or being knowledgeable about the industry you want to work in is important and a huge bonus to your employer if you understand the dynamics of the business.
There is no time to wait for people to give you what you want. One thing I say often about PR is that you almost become a detective in ways. You have to find solutions rather than get stuck on problems. This is where being proactive will benefit you. If you’re in an entry-level PR position or an Internship, come to your supervisors with solutions and not problems. Or if you have a problem you can’t solve, try and figure out some ideas before you present it. The BEST PR people are always proactively thinking of new ways to solve problems.
Get another Internship
The more the merrier when it comes to experience. You’ll get the best opportunities by learning more from more people. Get as many internships as you can before you graduate and then if you’re still at the Internship stage after college, ask for more responsibilities at your Internship. The more you do, the more you can put on your resume and the more valuable you will be to your next employer.
Getting a job in PR is often like securing media relations, being proactive is the way to win. PR professionals are very entrepreneurial and good at communicating their strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking for a career that will challenge you and improve your business skills all around, PR is a continually evolving field that will give you a broad range of skills that you can use in any industry. Good luck!