One part of blogging that we absolutely love is hearing from our avid readers. Yesterday we received an email from a reader asking a question I thought was worth sharing the answer to.
I read your blog entry on PR Homework, and I wanted to know if there were any other homework ideas or mini practice projects that I can try for myself at home. I have magazines but I don’t know what to do with them. How can I document my analysis?
This is a great question especially for those still in college and looking to get a job in PR once they graduate. As far as browsing through magazines, flip through those that you wouldn’t normally look through such as Parents or Good Housekeeping. These large lifestyle women publications are seen as the holy grail for many clients so familiarizing yourself with these publications now is key.
Don’t look at just one issue – look at several over the course of a few months and tab articles that are reoccurring or take notes on catchy headlines. This will make you more knowledgeable when it comes to developing a media strategy or crafting pitches later on. Also take a look at the magazines online versions. See how much is taken from book and how much is written by online editors.
Want a mini practice project? Select a favorite product of yours – for example a bar soap – and craft a pitch to a magazine or online outlet you also admire. Find the appropriate editor you’d write to and form an angle you think will be appealing to that writer. Any mini assignments that can stretch your writing skills and creativity could help you in a writing test during your interview process (I know I had to write a pitch).
Also make sure you’re browsing blogs and websites on topics you wouldn’t normally look at. Go beyond fashion and beauty and look into food and home decor. Maybe technology, travel and sustainability as well. Knowing the top websites in each of these major categories will help you once you start at an agency.
Another important mini homework assignment is getting to know more about the industry. Look into the different PR agencies in the city you’re located. Take a look at their client work and have a solid idea of where you’d like to apply to once you graduate. Maybe even set up an informational interview just to learn more about the day-to-day at that agency.
What are some other mini PR assignments you could do at home?