Due to the pandemic, getting on any career path is currently quite a task. But those wanting to launch their career in PR should be excited, because it is a growing industry that lets you have loads of fun with creative ideas.
PR people are storytellers, creating narratives to help clients land in the media. It goes without saying that working in PR is varied, one day you could be talking to clients and writing articles, the next you could be briefing people for live interviews and talking to journalists across the country.
Apart from the odd bit of work experience, I was a complete newbie to the world of PR before starting at Motive.
Here are my top 5 tips for anyone new to the PR industry:
1. Consume the media
Having a good grasp of what is going on in the news is invaluable to any PR professional. It allows you to understand what the public currently care about, which agendas the media are pushing, and it can give you great ideas for your own PR. Look at the events unfolding in the industries that your clients are in. This could give you a fresh angle for a client’s story and with breaking news, journalists will often need an expert to comment in real time. It could be a great opportunity to get a client a prime-time spot.
It is also worth familiarising yourself with lesser-known titles and outlets that aren’t in the mainstream. Work out which would make a good fit for clients, as it will give you a solid grasp of which outlets are appropriate for your outreach. Knowing the media market will help when it comes to tailoring your pitches and putting your press release in front of the right journalists.
2. Master socials
Social media sites are a great way to get inspiration for PR campaigns, learn more about your client’s day to day activities and keep up to date with online trends. Follow people in the media on Twitter, as they often put out specific requests for expertise when working to tight deadlines. Follow your clients and their competitors, so you can see what they are working on and what you are up against.
Not being able to leave the house has hindered loads of opportunities to network, but there are loads of free, online seminars and workshops currently online. Look at which ones are relevant to the area of PR you want to enter and get chatting to the like minded people who attend.
3. Never stop learning
Learning about a subject theoretically in the classroom is great, but the best way to widen your knowledge of PR is to get hands-on experience. It might be tricky in this climate but reach out to PR professionals in your area and enquire about virtual work experience. It can be easy to make assumptions about the best PR practices, but until you have tried and tested them there is no way to make sure. PR is an ever-changing field and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
It is important to understand that you might make mistakes, as embarking on any career can be a learning curve. The way these mistakes are handled will be the best learning arena. Own up, take responsibility and learn how to do it right. Whilst it’s not pleasant, the same mistake won’t be made again once you have figured out what to do differently next time.
4. Develop your eye for detail
Sloppy mistakes can cost you an entire campaign. Make sure you re-read all your own work at least twice to catch the spelling, punctuation and grammar which may have fallen through the net. Software like Grammarly can be installed to check basic mistakes. Colleagues will also be happy to proofread, utilise them to pick up any mistakes you may have missed. If the story relies on data, double check your numbers and calculations. Having fresh eyes may help, especially when it comes to questioning the assumptions you have made and the angle you have chosen to take. Imagine you are a journalist scrutinising the press release before deciding if to publish the story.
5. Take time to relax
Beginning any new career can be stressful. Often the PR field, you will be expected to multitask and juggle a number of clients and stories at one time. Consuming the media during the pandemic can be exhausting, due to the constant stream of news. It might be tempting to show your passion and dedication to the job by putting in extra hours and over working yourself. Taking time for yourself and engaging in your hobbies will rejuvenate you, letting you come back after an evening or weekend with a new energy and enthusiasm for the projects you are working on.
Get in touch here to find out what Motive could do to improve your business’s marketing mix.