Are you looking to score your first job in the public relations industry?
If so, let this article show how you can prepare yourself for a successful career in the public relations industry. There’s lots of advice on how to get a job in any industry. “Create a great resume and put it out there,” they say. PR jobs require more than a cover letter and a big smile. Our industry tends to be competitive and just showing up with a diploma will rarely help you make the cut.
Tactics for Getting a PR Job
Tactic 1: Learn the Difference between Marketing and PR
It’s rare to find marketers who truly understand the actual difference between marketing and PR. You should make sure that you are one of those who intimately understands what kind of job you’re applying to.
Brush up on your understanding of what public relations is, how it’s used by various brands, and why we need it.
Tactic 2: Demonstrate Win-Win-Win
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be able to think win-win-win. Most people understand the concept of win-win, but it’s when it comes to win-win-win that magic starts to happen. Here are three examples of wins:
When talking with anyone professionally, make sure you spend equal amounts of time outlining each type of win.
Tactic 3: Feature an Edge
As the new kid on the block, you’ll have a hard time getting the job based on your skills alone. So, you’re probably on equal footing with lots of other potential recruits. You need an edge, something that will distinguish you from the competition.
Here’s how people often talk with each other after the interviews:
What will people say about you when your interview is over? Have you given them something that will make you easier to remember?
Tactic 4: Develop a Personal Brand
A good way to showcase your understanding for public relations is to establish your own personal brand and position it via both social- and traditional media.
Walking the walk is always better than just talking the talk. Use social media to showcase who you are and how you can add value.
Tactic 5: Boost Your LinkedIn
I’m not going to talk you through how to fill out your LinkedIn-profile. Focus on the following two actions:
Your potential employer will check out your LinkedIn profile. Make the most of that opportunity.
Tactic 6: Be Ready to Pitch Yourself
When I was looking for a job myself back in the day, a friend of mine introduced me at a cocktail party to his boss, a big shot PR CEO. My friend introduced me as the greatest PR writer no one had ever heard of. The CEO looked me dead in the eye and asked me, “what do you have that my other writers don’t?”
Do this before you end up in a situation where you’ll need it:
Be prepared to pitch yourself in 10 seconds, 20 seconds and 30 seconds — practice in front of a mirror.
Tactic 7: Have a Vision about the Future of PR
As a young PR professional, you’re literarily the future of our profession. And any young mind fresh out of school should have an idea about how they want the future to be, right?
Make sure that you have ideas on how you think that the PR industry should evolve.
Tactic 8: Develop Your Passion
Don’t pretend to be interested, be interested. And make sure you have at least some knowledge to validate your passion. A good hiring manager can taste your authenticity in the air, so don’t try to fake this. We all get easily seduced by passionate people. We respect and admire their passion.
Passion flows from your goals. Identify those goals, visualise them, and live them inside your mind until you fall in love with your vision of what you want your professional career to amount to.
Tactic 9: Demonstrate Your Writing
There are tons of potentially useful skills you can bring to the table, especially in this day and age. But no skill in PR will be more helpful to you than being able to communicate through written words.
If you know how to write well, make sure that potential contacts in the PR industry have somehow seen samples of your writing portfolio.
Tactic 10: Hustle ‘Em Down
You’ll need to hustle. To hustle means to leave no stones unturned, to care less about the odds of success and to do whatever you can do, no matter how big and small.
And so on.
Getting into public relations can be daunting, but it’s one of the most exciting jobs in the world if you’re passionate about communication, building relationships, and behavioral psychology.