Whether you’re a university graduate or looking for a career change, knowing where to start when it comes to PR can be a bit daunting.
The best thing you can do when starting out in your field is to really soak up any information and opportunity that you can find whether that be starting your own blog or completing some online courses.
As a recent university graduate myself, doing these few things helped to keep me updated in the world of PR, expand my knowledge and gain a bit of experience. Putting in time and effort will definitely add up and pay off in the long run.
Here’s what you can do:
Follow social accounts
It’s a good idea to keep up to date with PR to impress employers and learn about the field. What campaigns are going viral? A good one to follow on Twitter and Instagram is DigitalPRExamples. Following social media accounts is an easy way to stay on top of this information and you’ll come across it whenever you scroll on your phone. Social media accounts can also be a good way to learn and get tips on the industry. Some personal favourite accounts of mine are PrettyLittleMarketer and ThePRPocketBook on Instagram. They post great tips on things like CV’s and interviews. It’s also a good idea to follow people in the industry that you admire to see what they’re up to and what they look for in employers, a lot of people also tweet their own advice and tips.
University isn’t the only place to learn. If you feel like there are gaps in your knowledge when it comes to PR and marketing have a look at some online courses, a lot of great ones are actually free and most of them give you a certificate of completion at the end. Some good ones include GoogleDigital Garage’s Fundamentals of Digital Marketing and MOZ’s beginners guide toSEO. The great thing with these is that you can go at your own pace and recap anything that you don’t quite understand as many times as you want. This is a great way to learn and it also shows employers that you’re willing to put the time in to educate yourself on your field.
Keep your LinkedIn updated
Don’t be afraid to share your achievements and engage regularly with things on LinkedIn that interest you. It’s also a good idea to post things about yourself once in a while. Maybe you’ve just had a personal achievement you want to share? Or you’ve worked on a project you’re really proud about? Anything like this is great for a LinkedIn post.
A common thing people suggest is starting a blog for something that you’re interested in and passionate about and it is actually a great idea because you can post as little or as much as you want. A lot of people though may not have the confidence to start out something so big so another solution is to guest blog. Follow some blogs that discuss topics which interest you and get in touch with the owners, share some ideas and ask to write a guest post. This is a great alternative and if it’s something you come to enjoy then take the next step and start your own page.
Now that you’re doing all of those things, don't be afraid to reach out and network. The majority of people that work in PR are social and welcoming so why not drop a message to someone who works at your dream company and see what advice they can offer? Or see if they have time to answer your questions about a day in the life of a PR exec.
Networking is also a good way to ask for any work experience opportunities. Not everywhere will advertise that they accept people coming in for placements, so it can be worth asking if you can spend a week or so in the office to see what a day in PR looks like.
You never know what could come from a simple message. The worst that could happen is that they simply don’t respond.