A Guide to Working in PR


By Kennedy Smith

Public relations is about communicating information between an organization to the public. Working in public relations allows you to have a career in pretty much any industry from fashion to sports, finance to food, and more!

After majoring in communications and working in the industry for nearly 2 years, I’ve discovered that I absolutely love it. For those thinking about pursuing a career in public relations, here a few tips on how to get started.

Constantly write

The key to making it in public relations is knowing how to write. Most of the time, you’ll be putting together press releases, communications plans, emails, editing speeches and more. It is vital that you understand basic writing skills and get familiar with AP style. Consider writing for your university paper, an online platform or somewhere public. Having published works will help you build credibility and experience as a writer.

Learn how to network

Networking is easier said than done, but it is essential to getting a start in anything that you do. Public relations is based on building relationships with stakeholders, media personnel, business partners and more. If you’re an introvert, time to get out of your shell! Meeting people and doing business is a major part of the job.

Practice time management

There isn’t necessarily a typical day working in public relations. You never really know what will happen, which makes the job interesting. Having good time management will help you in the long run.  Knowing how to get things done in a timely manner is important. Make note that procrastination is lethal. The more you procrastinate, the more you’re walking on thin ice. Deadlines are a serious thing, especially when it comes to timely materials, such as press releases.

Become a social media pro

Social media is a priority in public relations, so knowing how each platform works and how to create a presence is a plus. In addition to knowing how to manage social media, learning how to market on social media will greatly benefit your career. Many businesses are investing in boosting posts on social channels, so understanding how promoting content is good to have under your belt.

Acquire skills in a little bit of everything

Consider dabbling in photography, graphic design, editing, videography and more. All of these are part of what you will work within public relations. Creating content is a major duty of a public relations professional. Having extra skills makes you an asset to any organization.

Build a digital portfolio

A digital portfolio is essential these days. Consider creating your own personal website where you store content that you’ve created. For example, if you made an awesome social media campaign in one of your college courses, share it on your site. Being on LinkedIn helps, but it only shows so much. By having a digital portfolio, employers are able to easily access your work.

Improve your communication skills

Communication is vital in any industry. In order for you to be efficient and effective in public relations, you must be direct and keep communication consistent among your team. Things can turn into a disaster if everyone isn’t on the same accord. At times you will find there is a break in communication. Be the person to make sure the information is transferred accordingly. Not all of us are perfect communicators, but we can always strive to better.

Be in the know

Eat, live and breathe current events. Staying in tune with what is happening will ensure that you know what the hot topics are and how to strategically angle your work. Evaluate multiple sources, keep up with the news, and get the facts! Also, pay close attention to the things that have happened in the past to avoid any present day or future slip-ups.

In conclusion,

Working in public relations is a thrill for those who enjoy always having something to do. If you’re passionate about what you do, it won’t always feel like work. Instead, it’ll feel like your doing something that makes you feel fulfilled.