Choosing a career path is arguably the most crucial decision of your life. And if you landed on this article, you’re probably wondering how to build a career in public relations.
Public Relations can be boiled down into two key responsibilities: brand promotion and brand protection.
On the promotional side of PR, experts help individuals and businesses create a positive reputation with the public via several different unpaid and/or earned forms of communication, such as placements in blogs, social media, and traditional media. On the protective side, professionals help their clients or company maintain or defend their public reputation during crises.
Now, PR has always been a significant aspect of marketing in every industry out there. There’s no successful business owner who doesn’t have a PR department in their company, or an agency in their employ. If you’re looking to build your career in a PR company, now is a perfect time: opportunities abound in this growing sector.
However, you aren’t the only person gunning for a PR role; the competition is high. With that being said, here are eight top ways of impetuous career growing in PR.
#1: Detox Your LinkedIn profile
PR is all about having the right connection with the right audience who can pass along the message of your service or product onto their social circles. And the best way to leverage these early-adopters is via social media.
LinkedIn is an excellent way to learn about job openings, connect with your old colleagues, and grow your network. It’s also a robust recruiting tool for businesses looking to track down talent.
Are you looking for a job? If so, LinkedIn should be your top social media priority, and to attract companies, you must learn how to detox your LinkedIn profile. Consider including a meaty description of your skills and experience. Flesh out the job opportunities with your biggest wins and responsibilities. Curate and create content around the industry (e.g., tech, food, fashion) or PR specialty (e.g., crisis communications, social media, events) you are most interested in securing a position in and share it with your community.
#2: Create a Twitter List
Companies are increasingly turning to their Twitter communities in order to post information regarding job openings. If you are always active on Twitter, this can be extremely useful.
However, if you don’t monitor your Twitter profile 24/7, consider building a Twitter list, especially around the people and companies that can help you find a job. It could be a mix of job search outlets like PR Daily and Mediabistro, recruiters you have spoken to previously, etc.
View your list once/twice a day, and you’ll have a reasonable amount of tweets to scroll through, depending on how big the list is.
#3: Go directly to the source
Instead of sending your CV to the HR rep listed on the job description, head to the source directly. If it happens to be a PR role, chances are it’s the communications team that decides who gets hired.
Luckily, almost every business has a media page on its blog or website. There, you’ll find the communications team’s contact details. Identify a senior communications person listed and send them your best. If they find you interesting, they may ask to schedule an interview.
#4: Think strategically
You need to start thinking strategically rather than tactically. It’s crucial that you look for opportunities to be engaged with strategic planning and growth in your present role. This can take several forms, including finding new opportunities for coverage, drafting strategies for future campaigns, introducing new practices, and so on.
The next step is to own the success of each project (e.g., staff management, strategic counsel, or budgeting). When you put yourself in the position of project managers, you start honing the skills required for success at the next level in your career.
#5: Learn how to manage others
It’s essential to learn how to mentor, control, and lead others in order to take further steps in your career. You need to master the art of monitoring, so you know how to work with your supervisors efficiently. This will help to demonstrate you boast management abilities.
You could volunteer to act as a mentor or leader for junior colleagues to polish your management skills. This will allow you to exchange knowledge between you and the mentee and provide value to the entire team.
#6: Do your homework
Remember, a mass pitch to the media won’t amass a lot of press coverage.
So, before you pitch a blogger or journalist, consider understanding what they cover. Read and research thoroughly. Also, listen and learn about their past stories. Know what kind of articles they write or television/radio segments they lead or produce.
Fine-tune your pitch in order to appeal to them and their media outlet. But, most importantly, you need to appeal to their audience, so keep that in mind as well.
#7: Become a better writer
The lines between earned and paid media are becoming more blurred, which is why PR professionals with solid writing skills are high in demand. Enhancing your writing skills may take several forms:
- Take a writing seminar: Seek out seminars or workshops focused on storytelling and writing. If your company is large enough, it could be worth starting an internal writing seminar to help everyone on the team improve their abilities.
- Read similar content: Reading stuff published in your preferred industry will help you understand the style, format, and tone better.
- Write more frequently: Seek out projects where you’re able to take on some writing responsibilities and get feedback from your superiors. The more you write, the better your writing tone gets.
#8: Never stop learning
Get your MBA. Sign up for conferences. Take a new training course. Make sure you’re certified in specific skills, such as content marketing, inbound marketing, email marketing from renowned companies like HubSpot.
If you are a young PR expert and have already made it a priority to continue evolving, it’s time to take a proactive step toward your career. Once you’ve taken an active role in building your career, it would ensure you can chase the career path you’ve always wanted.