If you’re a Newcastle, Sunderland or Northumbria university PR student, you might have heard my talk as part of the ExPRience masterclass earlier this week. (If so, I’d love to hear what you thought of the event in the comments!)
Alongside some other recent PR graduates and industry professionals, I shared some tips on how I got my first job as a graduate (at ramarketing … and there’s my little character!) and some key pieces of advice that I wish I had known before starting.
Always be flexible
So I had some experience of this from work experience, however it’s something that I have found to be really important since working in PR – always be flexible.
The final part of my degree course was to research and plan two different PR campaigns, from the strategy and tactics, through to the results and evaluation. This, of course, isn’t too dissimilar from ‘real-life’ PR. However what you don’t learn in the project is that things don’t always go to plan, you might not get every piece of coverage that you wanted or the plan might have to change for some reason. You need to know how to take these things into account and be flexible.
Everyone is still learning, so you should never be afraid to ask questions. Find out more about the task in hand, check you know exactly what you’re meant to be doing, question why something is done a certain way.
This equally applies to if you get any feedback on work from a colleague. If you’re unsure, ask why they have made certain amendments or added in certain information. Asking all these things, in the right way of course, will only help you to be better next time.
Always ask for a deadline
Quite a simple one really. Get into the habit of always asking for a deadline of when the work is needed by. This helps you to plan your workload, work efficiently and make sure you deliver what is needed when it is needed.
Relationships are key
You’ve no doubt heard this a thousand times, but relationships really are essential in PR. Whether it is with your client, a journalist, suppliers or even the rest of your team, you should try to build up a diverse network.
And this is something you can start doing whilst still at university too. Attend events, connect with people on social media and make those connections. You never know when you might need them.
So there you have it. Some tips for when you start your PR career! Useful? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time…
Like this post? Why not have a read of this one: How to find work experience