Last week I received an email from a former professor and head of the public relations program at my university. He was reaching out to his former PR students looking for us to share any wisdom we’ve acquired with his current seniors. Having only graduated in May, I find it a little bizarre to be giving advice to students when I feel like I’ve only just started a whole new education myself in the real world of public relations. However, I would have been comforted to hear from someone just starting out this time last year, so I gave it a shot:
Perfect Your Time Management Skills
This is the single most important practice you can teach yourself as it is CRUCIAL in the world of PR. Chances are you’ll be working on multiple accounts and they’ll all have individual demands, often at the same time. Everyone has their own way of organizing their thoughts and tasks, find your system and stick to it. The more organized you are, the less hectic your work day will be!
From pitching to press releases, a large portion of your time will be spent on writing material for your clients. From the language and message of the client, to the technical lingo of the industry or publication you are reaching out to you’re going to have to do some extensive research. Adjusting your writing style to each individual pitch or press release will only help yield a better end result.
Don’t Let Frustration Distract You
There will come a point where you will feel like ripping your hair out. You’ll encounter grumpy media, needy clients, and stay up finishing presentations just like all-nighters before a midterm. This job is not for everybody and it can be very overwhelming, especially just starting out, but always face challenges head on. Learn from your mistakes, don’t take rejection personally, and always stay determined.
This is an Amazing Industry
The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far is that there is no other profession I can imagine having other than public relations. It really is a great feeling being able to apply everything you’ve learned for four years in the classroom and at internships to a real career. Take pride in the work you are doing, and most importantly enjoy it! No one wants to be miserable 9-5 every day, but if that’s how you find yourself come on over to Matter Communications – I certainly am glad I did!
So there are my humble words of wisdom for all the future PR superstars out there looking for advice. Everyone will have their own experiences and learn their own lesson, but I hope if anything, like me, they’ll be thrilled to be starting out on their PR career path.