So you’re thinking about a career in PR? Good choice! PR is such a vast field with many niches that you’ll be sure to find a good fit for your skills and interests. However, it can also be a bit daunting to know just what you’re signing up for. It is important to understand the world of PR before eagerly pressing send on those applications. Here are 5 things you’ll want to know if you are thinking of pursuing a career in PR:
- Know why you want to work in this field. PR is a competitive industry, meaning you have to be steadfast in your pursuits. No employer expects you to be perfect, but showcase your tenacity in the field. Research companies before you apply for their open positions to prove that while you may not know it all, you’re ready to learn. Figuring out if you align with their company mission, weekly schedule, and other specifics are good ways to find the right fit for your passions and skills.
- Know that you probably won’t be working a 9-5. PR is a fast-paced career choice. With the nature of the internet, your work day often doesn’t end when you leave the office. With remote work, this is even more applicable as you tend to build your own schedule. Answering client emails, hopping on zoom, and drafting press releases are all tasks you may have to fit in outside of your scheduled work time. While it is an inevitable part of the job, it is equally important to learn a healthy work-life balance. Keep track of how efficiently you are working and make tweaks to optimize that. The earlier you learn that lesson, the easier it will be to implement that later in your career.
- Know the skills you have and the skills you need. While there is room for growth, there are some attributes that can’t be taught. Are you a natural communicator? Do you work well under pressure? How would you assess your writing skills? These are all questions to consider if you’re interested in a PR career. Recognize that you may need to develop some of these skills before you’re ready for the job hunt. Internships can be a great way to get started, as they often require minimal experience in the field you’re interested in. As you gain proficiency, build a portfolio of your work.
- Know that the field is ever changing. Seeing as PR is at the intersection of communication and technology, there is always more to learn. Whether that be a new social media platform, engagement strategy or optimization analysis, the world of PR is rarely stagnant. Many companies nowadays list staying updated on relevant news and media as a necessary component to the job. Consider your ability to adapt technologically and consider how you will stay up-to-date. PR professionals are responsible for navigating new channels of communication and outreach, so be sure to develop those skills. Hop on that new app, familiarize yourself with basic computer programs, read the morning news, and be ready for that learning curve.
- Know that the path is not linear. PR professionals are often the catch-all, finding themselves responsible for a myriad of tasks each work week. Understand that you won’t have a routinized schedule filled with the same duties to check off every day. Each day looks different for a PR professional, which can add to the fun. Nonetheless, it is imperative to realize that PR is a multifaceted career choice. Be ready to tackle all tasks, big or small.
While these tips are important to keep in mind, most of us learn best by doing. Remain confident in the skills you’ve learned during that next job interview and be ready when the time comes for you to put these tips to the test. Happy job hunting!