If you are thinking about beginning a career in PR, there are a few things you should consider before jumping in.
1. Establish Your Expectations
It is important to manage your expectations and be sure that the career you want to have is realistic for you. Of course, there are many fabulous and glamorous PR jobs, but that is not the whole of them. It is important to research particular jobs that are available in the industry, and familiarize yourself with the requirements, expectations etc. Some PR jobs involve more high-pressure situations than others, so consider how you work under tight deadlines and other pressures, and choose your PR job accordingly.
2. Keep Up-to-Date and Communicate
PR professionals have an awareness of current events and trends. If you enjoy keeping up-to-date with the media and world events, you may be a good fit for a career in PR. Another essential trait for the PR industry is the possession of stellar communication skills. In general, PR professionals are considered extroverts. They are not afraid to communicate with a wide variety of people, including clients and media outlets. Being extremely communicative is important in the PR world.
3. Be Organized
It is very important to stay organized and be a good planner. Multi-tasking skills are also very valuable, as you will likely be working on multiple campaigns at one time, unless they are very large national and international campaigns. It is important to give your full attention to a campaign you are working on, so even if you are shuffling multiple campaigns, you have to be able to focus on the task at hand. That said, planning for future events and remembering deadlines is essential as well. When working with the media, deadlines are usually farther off, and must be watched closely so they are not missed.
This goes along with being extremely communicative, but it is very important for PR professionals to constantly expand their professional network. PR professionals know what is going on in the world, because they are constantly communicating with people in their network. They are in sync with media outlets, and are attending events where they can meet other professionals in their industry. Working in PR means developing working relationships with a variety of individuals, businesses and organizations.
5. Improve your Writing Skills
As important as verbal communications are in the industry, writing and editing skills are also highly valuable. The ability to write, edit, and submit a press release is an essential part of working in the PR field. Much communication today is done over email or by other digital methods. Writing effective copy that is grammatically correct is extremely important and will be noted by clients. When submitting a press release to a media outlet, it is important that the document be easily read and understood. This ensures that the message is clearly relayed, even when passed through multiple parties.
These are just a few things to think about when considering entering the PR industry. With proper research, you can be fully prepared to join the exciting and ever-changing field of PR.