Are you an agile, hard-working, creative person who loves meeting new people and finding solutions to whatever life throws your way? Then you are the perfect fit for a career in the public relations industry. 

If you've decided that PR is your cup of tea (or coffee), but are stumped on how to start down this career path, then you would likely benefit from some guidance on how to get your foot in the door. That’s where we come in! 

Here, media update's Taylor Goodman offers four tips on how to be the fiercest PR practitioner on the comms streets. 

Let's dive in:

1. Refine your creative skills 

To make it in the public relations industry, creativity is an absolute must. This is a crucial skill to have because you always have to come up with out-of-the-box solutions during times of crisis. 

PR pros are also storytellers, meaning that they need to constantly think of ways to communicate their client’s messaging in an original but concise manner. 
Want to know more about why creativity is crucial in PR? Then you should check out these Three reasons why creativity is key in PR.
Despite what you may think, creativity is not one of those skills you're born with or without. The Harvard Business Review put it perfectly explaining that, "Great athletes train their bodies for days, weeks and years to whip them into peak performance. Why, then, wouldn't a creator do the same with their brain?"

So what are you waiting for? Exercise those creative muscles! You can hone in on your creative skills by:
  • practising your writing: Whether you're writing stories or diary entries, practising your writing is crucial if you want to work in PR. As you do a ton of storytelling in this line of work, it would be worth your while to refine this skill. This will definitely give you a competitive edge. 
  • asking questions: Always being in the pursuit of learning new things can help to get the creative juices flowing. By expanding your way of thinking and taking the time to learn new perspectives, you are taking the right steps to becoming a super PR pro. 
  • experimenting: No idea is ever too crazy when it comes to creative thinking. After all, a lot of the world's best inventions were created by accident and because its creators were not afraid of failing. You know how the saying goes: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again

2. Get networking    

One of the surefire ways to get your foot in the door in any industry is networking. By putting yourself out there and meeting new people, you’re consequently learning new things and getting your name out there. Sounds like a win to us!

Any introverts out there, don't worry. We're not saying you need to walk into an event where you know nobody and shout your name from the rooftops. Rather, you can start off small. 

How? Well, you can kick off by firing up ye ol' LinkedIn and connecting with those in the PR industry. Use this platform as a starting point for sharing your insights or work you’re proud of and watch your inbox fill up. 

Not an introvert? Then go ahead and take the training wheels off. Reach out to practitioners you admire and ask if you can pick their brain about what it's like working in PR. 

Additionally, attend relevant mixers or events (online or otherwise) and meet new people. Once you make these connections, don't be afraid to connect with them and let them know you're on the job market. 

3. Ensure you're media and social media savvy  

When you're working in public relations, you need to stay in the know with the latest and greatest happening in yours and surrounding industries. 

This is important for many reasons. Firstly, PR practitioners need to have a solid understanding of media relations so that they are able to form solid relationships with journalists.  

By being aware of trends in this industry, practitioners will be able to liaise with journalists around happenings in this space and familiarise themselves with the topics they cover. 

This will help you to refine your pitching and increase the likelihood of your work being picked up by journalists as you are working at nurturing these relationships. 

Secondly, it is crucial to have a substantial understanding of different social media platforms, how they work and the audiences that use them.

As you learn more about how audience's use these platforms, you will be able to launch more thoughtful campaigns with more personalised messaging in the future. Additionally, these targeted efforts will resonate better with your audience. 

4. Consider furthering your studies   

I'm sure you've heard that knowledge is power, and this is particularly true when starting a career in public relations. 

By padding out your CV with relevant PR certifications, you’re ensuring that you are better prepared for your role. Additionally, it gives you an edge over your competition when you further your studies and expand your skill set. 

If you’re worried about spending thousands on getting a degree in communications, don’t fret. LinkedIn and Udemy offer cheap courses that can get you started. 

PR pros, do you have wisdom to share with the newbies in your industry? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to up your PR game? Then make sure you read up on these Three ways that PR pros can motivate themselves.
*Image courtesy of Unsplash.