If you’re just now breaking into the public relations world, there are a number of things to consider before applying for jobs, including deciding on which of public relations careers you want to pursue. In fact, there are three typical types of public relations careers to choose from. In-house, agency, and working independently as a practitioner are a few of the most popular public relations careers offered today. Whichever path you choose to take, there are three steps to take to prepare yourself for a career in public relations:
Brush up on your writing skills
Most public relations careers require a significant amount of writing. Whether it is a press release about a client’s latest event, a pitch to reporters about a new product, or anything in between, you can expect to spend a lot of time writing. Public relations professionals are tasked at situating their clients as trusted industry leaders through narratives that bring their messages to life. Relevance, organization and creativity are the key components of anything you will write during your public relations career. Relevancy plays a big role on whether or not your pitch will get picked up by a reporter. Familiarize yourself with AP Style: this is the specific writing style preferred by journalists and other public relations professionals.
Stay in the know
Staying on top of the news and how it is impacting society is an essential responsibility for all public relations professionals. So, make it a point very early on in your public relations career to stay on top of the news. Doing so allows you to constantly be pitching the right topics for your clients. Staying up to date with local, national, and industry related news and influential reporters will help you determine the strongest tactics to reach target audiences and consistently create newsworthy content for your clients. Subscribe to e-newsletters distributed by a variety of publications and news outlets to familiarize yourself with the publications and to also stay on top of the news. Lastly, get to know the reporters in the market that you are working in or hope to work in. Make sure to stay engaged, up-to-date, and connected with them.
Gain experience through an internship
Quite possibly the strongest way to kickstart your public relations career is with an internship. During an internship, you will experience first-hand what a day in the life of a public relations professional is like. If the internship is hands-on, you will take away incredibly valuable knowledge and skills that will ultimately help you gain a career in the public relations industry. Make sure that you ask questions and constantly look for opportunities to learn and develop.
Given the diversity of public relations careers available, there is no single formula to breaking into the public relations world. However, staying in the know, being a strong writer and gaining experience through internships will help position you as a desirable candidate to employers. Click here to learn about public relations careers and internships available at Serendipit Consulting.