Whether you’re a recent college grad or young professional, the public relations industry isn’t for the faint hearted. This particular industry has a higher churn rate than most, allowing you a short window to break into this industry. While it might be difficult for a newbie to get their foot in the door, these are six tips to help you manage a successful career in PR.
1. Attitude is everything
Mingling with trendy brands and celebrities seem to be portrayed as the norm in this industry. To make it to this level of success requires hard work and thick skin. A career in public relations can be particularly daunting as you have to be open to feedback as people constantly edit and critique your work. You might not appreciate the message at the time, but it will only help your career in the end. It’s important to always stay positive and focused, keeping your goals at top of mind.
2. Place emphasis on your physical appearance
Your physical appearance is an important factor for success as you will be constantly interacting with clients and other potential customers. Having a few power suits handy will not only send a message to potential employers that you are mature and confident enough for the job, but will also help you feel secure in your abilities. Make sure these staples are tailored to your body as attention to detail is particularly important in this industry. Be sure to pair your suit with polished shoes and quality accessories in order to complete the picture.
Your everyday grooming habits can help you perfect the look of a public relations expert. For men, it’s important to tend to your skin as it serves as the window to your overall health. Taking care of your skin also means tending to your beard using proper techniques. A smooth face is always a safe bet but if you decide to keep your beard, make sure it’s neat and tidy by trimming the length and shaving clean lines.
For women in this particular industry proper grooming is defined by your hair, makeup, nails. In order to give off a professional vibe, be sure to keep your hair clean and styled during the work week. Having fresh, natural makeup with manicured nails will show you’re keen to the smallest details.
3. Find a mentor
If you’re just stepping out from the classroom into this world it’s imperative to find a mentor who has substantial experience. Don’t know where to start? Try connecting with experts on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, by searching for someone who has a common interest in a particular area of public relations. By simply asking a colleague out for a quick cup of coffee or bite to eat could help you learn more about the industry and help your reputation. Being well-connected by proactively building out your network can truly boost your career.
4. Keep developing your portfolio
In order to obtain success, it’s imperative to consistently make adjustments to your portfolio by adding new, high quality pieces and removing those that are no longer relevant. These items can range from articles, social media campaigns, press releases, etc. and should be applicable to the particular industry segment you’ve selected. Having an up-to-date portfolio on hand at all times can help you land your dream job as soon as the opportunity presents itself.
5. Continuous Learning
To ensure the work you’re producing is topnotch, you will need to invest in lifelong learning. Continuing your education will help keep you relevant in an evolving field. Seek out educational courses, local workshops, or public relations conferences where you can hone your skills and develop new ones along the way. In addition, it’s important to proactively seek out feedback from others by soliciting help from both seasoned vets and other young professionals to make sure you obtain a wide range of constructive criticism. By seeking out advice from others, you will quickly learn your strengths and weaknesses and in turn focus your time on developing both.
6. Reputation management
People won’t pay you to promote their brand if yours is less than perfect. Try developing a website that explains areas of interest as well as identifies unique skills that separates you from the competition. Within your site, you can also host your portfolio where you can show off your best work. Lastly, it’s just as important to keep this site updated. You can easily do so by sharing industry articles as well as creating unique pieces that contribute to the industry and shows that you’re a thought leader in the field.
Thanks to the PR team at Harry’s for compiling these six career tips.
One thought on “6 Career Development Tips for Young PR Pros”
No. 1 tip is spot on, Ron.
Your attitude is everything.
Onward and upward we go. Best, Kevin