4 answers

How do I make myself stand out in the Public Relations Industry?

Asked San Jose, California

I hope to become a PR Representative in the future. #career-counseling #public-relations #development #representative

4 answers

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

What will make yourself stand out in the Public Relations Industry and the following:

  • getting to know yourself well enough to determine where in this vast industry your personality traits most fit
  • working hard in school to get the best grades possible
  • developing networking connections that will allow you to confirm your choice of this field and get to know people who are doing what you think that you might want to do.

Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

  • The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
  • Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
  • Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
  • It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##

Margo’s Answer

Updated

Before you do anything, make sure that PR is the industry you want to establish your career in and ask yourself, why? Once you have determined that PR is the industry for you, think about a couple of industry sectors that appeal to you - consumer, technology, healthcare. Then, you can begin your search and I would recommend starting with looking to PR agencies. The agency world is the ideal place for you to start your PR career. Agencies will give you the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the PR business and will help shape you into an effective PR professional.

Kylie’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas

Write, write, write! Being able to concisely communicate ideas in a compelling manner is the most important fundamental skill in public relations. Anyone can become a better writer through practice, so look for opportunities to help you improve. Many small local newspapers and online publications will let high school and college students write for them. If you join an organizations or club, you can volunteer to help write the newsletter. While I was in college earning a degree in journalism, I wrote for the student newspaper and student-produced TV news show, interned with a news station and put together a newsletter for a nonprofit, all of which helped me get a job in PR. Write and read as much as you can and you'll be better prepared for any career you choose, even if you don't end up in PR!

Thomas’s Answer

Updated Tampa, Florida

I have three pieces of advise I wish someone had told me at the onset of my nearly 25 years in this profession:

1. Decide what you have a passion for or how you want to live your life. Where you start your career will in many ways determin who and what future employers/clients see you as. If you love the arts, try to get a PR gig at a museum early in your career. If your goal is to make money or to have greater job security, do whatever you can to get on the communications team for a Fortune 500 company. Where you start will in many ways guide where you go.

2. Try to gain a broader skill set. Writing and public speaking are your bread and butter, but also learn social media theory, design, journalism, website design, advertising, and marketing. Early on in your career, employers will try to pigeon hole you by a skill that you can bring to their team. Make sure whatever they need is something you can do.

3. Be confident in everything you do (or at very least, learn how to fake it). The most important thing any of us have is our reputations. Your employer/client is relying on you to keep the perception of them as positive as possible. They must always know that you have the confidence and ability to do this.