So you’re a good writer. A social media guru. You’re creative, outgoing and have a knack for marketing.You want a dynamic and fulfilling career. A career in public relations just might be for you.
Before you hand off your resume to your local PR agency, here are some tips on breaking into the public relations business.
Get an Internship
Public Relations is a highly competitive field to enter. It is nearly impossible to land a PR job without experience. If you are a college student working towards a communications degree, consider taking on an internship to give you an edge in the job market after you graduate.
If you are out of college, look for an entry-level job at a PR agency. The pay isn’t glamorous; the work is tedious. But the connections and experience you can gain from an entry-level PR job are a great way to put your foot in the door of the industry.
Get an Education
Prospective public relations employees can expect a Bachelor’s degree to be a basic requirement for all jobs in the field. A degree in business management, marketing, journalism or communications is instrumental to getting hired in PR.
Get the Skills
Writing press releases, communicating with the public and with other businesses, planning events, building a company’s brand — these are all daily tasks of the public relations professional, and they all involve writing. Writing is the most important skill that a PR employee can have. PR is all about communication, so the ability to communicate effectively is essential to entering the field.
Your resume is an excellent place to prove your writing abilities. It should go without saying, but a future PR employee’s resume should be free of spelling and grammatical errors.
Create an Online Presence
The social media sphere is another great place to prove your communication skills. Your future employer will google your name. It is up to you to control what comes up in the search results. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are all platforms in which you have a chance to build your professional brand. The way you brand yourself will speak volumes to how well you will be able to build a company’s brand as a PR professional.
According to PR Perennial Strategy CEO Lamell McMorris, “spirit” wins out over all as the most important quality of a new PR employee. A must for a new hire at PR Perennial Strategy, he says, is “demonstrating not just business and professional acumen, but the right spirit, which is one of team building and a willingness to lend a hand with any and all things that help a business achieve its goal.”