Congratulations, you have decided to pursue a career in Public Relations. Whether you just graduated high school or recently landed a stellar internship, take a moment to pat yourself on the back because PR is not for the faint of heart. Now, it’s time to do your homework…
Analyze Magazines– Some of you may have had a subscription to Cosmopolitan or Vogue since before Bieber was born. However, have you really analyzed these magazines? Sure, you flip through the articles and admire the stunning fashion and luxurious beauty items, but are you noticing the trends? Following specific editors or reoccurring articles? Know those publications like the back of your hand. Then when it comes time for you to pitch that Beauty or Food Editor you will not only know her style, but how to naturally fit your client within her stories. Just decided to get into Food PR and your Mom doesn’t have any old issues of Food Network Magazine? No problemo. Visit your local library (they often keep old issues on file) and familiarize yourself with past issues.
Get off Facebook – I’m glued to the computer all day just as much as the next person. However, you can use the internet to enhance your PR productivity ( like with reading this blog!). Spend your time online familiarizing yourself with the online outlets, much like you are doing in analyzing magazines. Along with being fluent in the languages of AOL, Yahoo, About.com and iVillage, you should also set up Google Alerts (life saver) to bring trends and product news to your attention in an instant. Dream of landing an internship with Coca Cola? Set up Google Alerts for industry trends and most importantly, leading brand competitors (Pepsi).
Get Organized – Many of those in the PR industry are your typical Type A personalities with organizational skills that could rival Danny Tanner. This will be your saving grace in the PR field, especially at entry-level. You will be responsible for invoices, giveaways and mailers on top of your day- to-day pitching. When working in an agency setting, you will have to juggle all these tasks at the same time on numerous accounts and clients. If I could bequeath one simple organizational tip, it would be to take advantage of those handy email folders pronto. I got in the habit of organizing my personal email into several categorized folders in college, and when I came into the work force I automatically fell into this tidy habit. Separating your email folders per account, product pitch and/or giveaway makes referencing the hundreds of daily emails you receive easy breezy.
What are some of the ways you are currently preparing for a career in PR?