5 Creative Ways To Enter The PR World
August 30, 2012
By: Neelam Shah
PR is about influencing the influencers and if your looking to get into the sector you need a wide and flexible range of skills. Here are five items to keep in mind before applying for PR role:
1. Writing is King – or these days, “content”… and you have to be good at it. doesn’t matter if it’s an eye catching 140 characters or an article for a national newspaper, you should be comfortable and happy writing as a key part of what you do.
2. Social Media Savvy – An essential element of the modern PR professionals world is social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogs, Stumble Upon, etc. Social media publicity generates and can drive itself, and knowing how to use these platforms is key.
3. Research and Action – You have to be resourceful at finding information then using it. PR professionals are like sales people looking for clients: the knowledge they need is out there already; it is just a case of finding and using it.
PR is all about people, interacting with social media clubs, events, advertising meetings, joining university alumni associations, focus groups, utilizing social media networking sites such as LinkedIn, to collaborate with liked minded people who have similar career interests to help you on the way to your dream job in the PR industry.
5. Create a portfolio
Most employers in the PR industries look for strong writing and literacy skills.
Joining student newspapers, contributing to student magazines with in the university or creating your own online blogs and student newsletters can help you improve your writing abilities to perfection.
According to a survey undertaken by Cranfield School of Management and the CIPR, the following skills and qualities are important if you are considering working in public relations:
Writing – the cornerstone of a PR professional’s career. If you are not confident about your writing skills, brush up. You’ll need them. Learn how to write a news release – study those produced by other organizations and practice for yourself.
Communications skills – I’m talking ‘small c’ communications here rather than the ‘big c.’ Learn to communicate more effectively with other people.
Attention to detail – Proofread everything. Double check before you hand to employers.
Media relations – you’ll probably be doing media relations throughout the majority of your career. You may not have had an opportunity to do it for yourself as a new graduate, but an understanding of the basics is certainly an advantage – what’s in a media list? What are the pitching best practices?
Proactiveness – if you don’t know an answer to a question, first try to research the answer. If you can’t find the answer, ask. Whatever you do, don’t just sit there until you approach the deadline for your work.
Alongside the regular attributes that I think new PR pros should have, I would add a whole new list of attributes related to the online work. Among these I would include:
Blogging - you don’t necessarily need to have one (although it’s a big plus), but an understanding of the importance of blogs and an interest in their use, is essential in my view.
Micro-blogging - it’s still an emerging technology, but I would argue that an understanding of micro-blogging tools (the primary one currently being Twitter) is essential for new grads.
SEO - some parts of search engine optimization are quite technical, but others are very simple and require little technical knowledge. An understanding of the basics is highly valuable. This leads to my next point…
Orating: PR people need to be able to articulate their thoughts and their company’s story in front of an audience, be it a group of employees or a swarm of media.
Internet-Enabled: PR takes an immense amount of research, and PR people who don’t understand tools such as blogs, search engines, and premium search services suffer the consequences. Knowing how to find Google or Technorati is not enough – you need to understand how to utilize these resources as well.
Multi-Tasking: Speciality PR is fine if you’re proven in the field, but a well-rounded PR person can handle everything from sales to client hand-holding.
A good example of a successful PR company is PHA Media, one of PRs leading agencies in London
So whatever career path you choose in the PR field, bear those essentials and tips in mind- they will come in handy for any PR agency.