A milestone moment in PR happened in November 2017 – the first female CEO of a top 5 PR firm! What’s more, she started working for Ketchum, the same company about 30 years ago right out of high school. A lot has changed in the profession since she started, but most of it is good. PR/communications is one of the fastest growing industries and should continue to be so for at least several more years.
There are some things you should ask yourself and some other things you can do to increase your chances of getting a job in public relations and then seeing it grow into your dream job. Consider first, what kind of PR you would be interested in doing. There are many options from public affairs to fashion, from travel to events, and from crisis and reputation management to celebrity publicity. If you know the direction you want to go, it will focus your job search to agencies that either specialize in that or have divisions that do.
Chances are, if you are starting out in your career, you’ve already got a vital skill for many PR jobs … master of social media. 30 years ago, PR jobs started with press releases and a lot of phone calls. Now, though those are still part of the job, social media tends to be a major player. If you know how to handle that professionally, you can add that to your list of vital skills.
Being an active part of social media gives you another foot up because it likely keeps you current with much of what is happening in the world, and trending among consumers. Better still, get current in the field you are most interested in. Start following the big names in PR for that field, as well as the top influencers on at least three major social media platforms.
Sign up for PR online resources that are free such as PR News, Everything-PR and PR Daily. Also look for networking opportunities in that sector of PR that holds your interest. Look for webinars, seminars, brand summits, trainings, and anything else you run across that can build our skill and knowledge base. You might also try some of the common apps for picture enhancement, graphics, and similar items used in social media. There are also places to find out about how to do interviews effectively and what agencies offer to their people. Check out Glassdoor, PR Couture, and Career Contessa for help in these areas. Once you begin to feel confident and ready to find your dream job, it never hurts to let the people you know and who know you what you are looking for and see if any of them have connections that could help you skip over a step or two on your way to career heaven.
If PR is the field you love, you’ve probably already have that personality that helps others shine in the spotlight, but with all that skill and knowledge – dive in and show off your skills and abilities to the people around you and on social media. Be interesting, be unique, and be quick. Grab them, draw them in, and leave them wanting more.
Once you’ve found the place and the job you want and have submitted your cover letter and resume, follow up with them within a week or so to make sure they got your application. Remember, once they hire you, you’ll need to do follow-up for clients, it’s good for your almost employer to see you are willing to do the needed work.