Thoughts from a Young Public Relations Professional

Are you interested in a career in public relations? Would you like to know what agency life is like? Here is a blog post written by Matlocker Erika Ludwig, Account Coordinator – Reputation, with a few tips for young professionals entering the PR workforce. Image

Completing your first year at an agency is no small feat. Public Relations is more than just writing press releases and earning media coverage. Like many industries today, Public Relations is evolving into a career that involves one having many “tools” in their toolbox.

Here is some advice I hope those considering a career in Public Relations, or current young professionals, will find useful.

Join a professional organization Being a member of a professional organization not only looks good on your resume, but through professional organizations you can network, grow professionally and learn about trends. Additionally, join a SIG. Special Interest Groups are great resources for niche topics, in addition to being a great resource for networking.

Own an AP Stylebook Your AP Stylebook is your best friend when writing press releases. Use it! It is also a great means for proofreading.

Be flexible and learn how to multi-task Working at an agency requires you to work on different projects at the same time. Learn how to be flexible and balance your workload. By planning ahead, a new task with a quick deadline should be no problem!  

Embrace social media Social media is a necessary tool for young public relations professionals today.  Some companies will hire young PR professionals to write social media calendars in addition to completing  PR responsibilities. Make yourself familiar with various social media platforms, and always be on the lookout for  new platforms and trends.

Take initiative Just because you are a young professional and most likely at the "bottom of the totem pole" doesn't mean you are not allowed to take initiative. If a problem occurs, approach your superior with solutions, in addition to informing them about the situation at hand. Act instead of reacting.

Embrace opportunity If you have an opportunity to travel, do it. If you have an opportunity to take on a new responsibility in addition to your current roles, do it. By taking advantage of presented opportunities you are making yourself more valuable to your current agency - and to future employers.

Strive for work/life balance Working at an agency is a great experience, but it can be stressful at times.  Make sure to have a reasonable work/life balance. Expect to stay late at the office some days (especially when projects are due), but remember it’s important to go home and relax.

Learn from your mistakes You will make mistakes. Accept them, learn from them and keep going. Apply what you have learned from your "blunder" to your future tasks. Making mistakes is a part of your growth as a professional.

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I hope that you find these tips useful. Each agency is different, and requires various roles and responsibilities. Be open to learning and be flexible. You never know where your road may lead, but make use of what is put in front of you to build the bridge to your future.