Blogging has obviously fallen by the way-side for me since the school year ended, despite my eagerness in May to keep up with posts and current events. I’ve been blessed this summer with several PR/Journalism-related opportunities, such as writing press releases for the SPCA, writing articles for FOCUS Magazine, and as of this week, I will start helping put together a back-to-school event that will take place in an Orlando Mall in August. But, I’m ready to jump back in and make time for blogging despite my busy schedule because I learned very early on this past semester that blogging is an important part of the world of PR and it’s easy to fall behind.
I figured the perfect way to start posting again would be to feature an article, entitled “5 things students should do now to secure a PR job later,” that PR Daily published yesterday on their website. Here’s Mickie Kennedy’s advice to PR students:
Public relations has become a highly sought field of work and study. If you want to try to break in, there are some things you should do to prepare.
Here are five tips that will give you a head start on your future career:
1. Improve your communication skills.
Most of your work in public relations involves communicating. If you sometimes find that you don’t accurately get your point across, you may have a problem. Plenty of schools nearby will offer communication courses you can take. These include public speaking and professional writing. If you’re already in college, take these classes as some of your electives, or major in communications.
2. Start networking now.
Don’t wait until you’re submitting your résumés before you begin networking. Start doing it now. Your current friends and colleagues might be your future co-workers and managers, as well as forward thinkers in the field. Make sure you have their information saved when the time comes.
I don’t mean you should whip out a notepad and pen when you meet someone new. Just try to be friendly, and meet as many new people as possible. Talk to your classmates, or go out to business gatherings.
3. Focus your efforts.
Do you know which part of public relations you like the most? Do you really like writing? Coming up with strategies? Maybe you’re most interested in new media and want to dive into social media.
Figuring out exactly what you want to do can improve your chances of making an impact on employers. Not only will it help you play up to your strengths, you can tackle your problem areas as well. This will make you a more well-rounded public relations professional.
4. Look at companies you like.
Keep a running tab of the public relations firms or companies to which you’d like to apply. Follow them on LinkedIn for news on the company and to learn who is leaving and moving up the ladder. Keeping a close watch on the companies you like and admire can give you an edge when you walk in the door for an interview. If you have extended knowledge of its ups and downs over the years and the other applicants barely know the company’s name, it’s going to look good for you.
5. Intern, intern, intern.
Yeah, we’ve all heard the stories about interning. You don’t get paid, you get all the stupid jobs nobody wants to do, etc. However, interning is a great way to get your foot in the door, both literally and figuratively.
As an intern, you get an up-close view of a company, not to mention you’ll meet most, if not all of the employees. It may seem like a pain in the neck, but if we’re talking about securing a future job in PR, interning can show you how the industry works and let you meet lots of people to connect with later.
I hope this call to action has inspired you and showed you that taking these steps in the present will help secure a successful future!