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7 Things to know before you start your career in PR

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

We have all dreamed of being Samantha Jones in her shining office, fancy Jimmy Chu shoes and parties. Though public relations is glamorous, it only makes up for one aspect of the job. What precedes it, is a hard job, lots of phone calls, coffee and emails.

If you are thinking to get into public relations, these are some things you should keep in mind :

1. Curiosity + skill – make this your mantra

Public Relations is needed in every industry, every company and even an individual needs a PR team. When you have so many options to choose from, get to know your interests by taking up internships to get clarity on the industry you want to work in.

For example, if your interest lies in fashion but you choose an IT company or a public relations agency with IT clients, you may find yourself burnt out because of the lack of knowledge and interest. You can accordingly dedicate yourself to understanding that industry while constantly updating yourself with the latest trends and the media ecosystem.

2. Networking will open doors

Public Relations relies heavily on networking, it’s important to build connections that you can leverage on. Even if you are a student or just switching careers, the connections you build with your professors, classmates and colleagues are important to hold onto. They can help you to take a step further in the industry and get your desired spot in the public relations industry.

3. Read the news

Wake up, grab a coffee and start your day by reading the news. It’s important to know what’s happening in the industry, especially about the clients' landscape. You can understand and leverage trends and learn from campaigns. Consuming and Understanding news is going to be the foundation for your day-to-day activities.

4. You are always “on”

The PR industry is notorious for having a poor work-life balance, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You don’t want to experience burnout, but you must be responsive. You can prioritize certain emails and calls to shift to the next day (or next week in case of Friday) but then again, you must communicate this to your coworker or your client.

Know your long-term goals and analyze your work style, if you enjoy going to home on time everyday then you may have to reconsider your options. A part of any creative field is not being able to switch off per se. PR is similar, where seeing a billboard, campaign or news will most likely take you to your storyteller maze. While difficult to switch that off, you should decompress and come back stronger!

5. You are going to be rejected a lot and that’s okay

No one starts out perfect. You are bound to make mistakes and that’s okay. Trust your seniors and mentors to guide you. You will slowly build connections, learn how to pitch and when you get a story published, you will realize it’s all worth it. Don’t get disheartened, take it as a learning experience and move on. You have a lot of potential, and you know it.

6. Ask a lot of questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, sure it may be a stupid one, but your seniors won’t mind it because they were once you and understand where you are coming from. It’s more important to ask BILLION questions and understand the assignment rather than insufficiently doing a task and making a blunder later.

In fact, the person writing this article, which is me, (hello, nice to meet you!) I asked and still ask a lot of questions and they always respond to me graciously which creates a supporting and encouraging environment.

7. Sharpen your writing skills

You need to hone your writing skills since your main job is going to involve creating a lot of content for your clients, pitching it and getting creative about it. You can do that by taking a course, internships but over time your skills will get better with practice, consistent self-improvement and the feedback you get.

For more queries on what PR entails, or for a quick chat to understand the industry, we are a call away!

- Rajvi Shukla

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