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The Strategy Room

Lunch Break: Three Tips for an Aspiring and Entry-Level PR Professional

By: Elisabeth Bellevue

QUICK PR READS YOU CAN TACKLE BETWEEN BITES 

Welcome back, Lunch Breakers! This week, we’re discussing tips to help aspiring and entry-level public relations (PR) professionals.   

It is not uncommon for recent graduates to be unsure of what career path they want to pursue with their undergraduate degree. They may have an idea based on what they studied, but it is not always set in stone by the time they walk the stage. Pursuing a career in PR can happen in many ways. People who have never studied communications or PR might still find themselves starting their career at a PR firm or agency. Some professionals have years of PR experience and serve at a senior or executive level.  

With that said, we will share advice to help you succeed in the agency space. After reading this, you’ll become a media guru, accept feedback as a growth opportunity, and practice more proactivity.  

Be Media Savvy  

Familiarizing yourself with different media outlets, significantly those considered top-tier will help you succeed. Media relations is one of the foundations of PR and is just as important as building client relationships. Being media savvy can help you stay up-to-date on current news happening on a global, national, and local scale, especially in the industries your clients work for. News plays a crucial role in public relations and challenges how we think about media placements for our clients. Knowing what outlets are a good fit for your client is an important step to ensure the success of your media relations efforts.  

Familiarizing yourself with the media landscape is as easy as subscribing to various news outlets, setting up news alerts on your phone, or even taking time out of your day to read an article that would be of interest to your client. Many different platforms are used in this field that give you access to reporters and journalists with specific focuses, so find one that works for you and stay up-to-date on current happenings. 

Be A Great Writer (Feedback is your friend) 

Ken Blanchard, a business consultant, and motivational speaker, once said that “feedback is the breakfast of champions.” Feedback builds thick skin, and thick skin is needed in PR because having excellent writing skills is extremely important. Writing is one of the most vital skills a PR professional can have. From drafting pitches to creating strategic planning decks, quality writing is essential. The work that you produce is not just reflective of you, but a reflection of the entire firm you represent and the clients your work supports. This is where feedback comes in. Accepting feedback as growth opportunities rather than an attack on your work speaks to your ability to learn and grow professionally. In PR, you should be willing to learn, and genuine feedback will challenge you to be a better writer and communicator.  

Proactivity Makes You Stand Out  

Being proactive is extremely important and expected as a PR professional. When working in an agency environment, proactivity goes a long way, showing that you take the initiative. Not only does being proactive make you stand out as a professional, but it also makes everyone’s jobs easier, from the account teams supporting you to the clients reaping the rewards of your hard work. Being a proactive team member will create and keep trust in the agency world. 

There are so many different pieces of advice that go around in this field. Although there is much more to learn about the PR industry once you’re fully integrated into it, these three tips will get you started. As a PR professional, you are continuously growing, and where you start will not be where you finish. If you are an aspiring PR professional or have just started in the field, take these tips with you and share them with your team!




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