What You Don’t Learn From Your PR Professor

As a public relations major in college, you’re taught the basics ‘“ how to write a  press release, draft a media alert and even how to  develop a campaign. However, after graduating, I couldn’t help but feel like there were a few  topics  I could have learned more about to prepare me for an entry-level PR position and below are the top three.

1. Difference Between Agency/Boutique/In-house ‘“ After graduating, you know you want a job in public relations, but it’s hard to determine which PR job is right for you when you aren’t explained the differences. The workings of an agency vs. a boutique vs. in-house  are extremely  distinct as well as the  divisions of each  (consumer, healthcare, digital, corporate and more).  

So what’s the best route to take and  which job title should  you apply for? Not something I was taught in college.

2. Media Rapport ‘“ Sure, you learn how to write a pitch, but what is the best way to approach editors, reporters, radio hosts and producers? What is the proper jargon to use?

I had to learn a majority of this through first-hand experience and  colleagues, but  this is something that should be recreated in the classroom.

3. The Business Side of PR ‘“ Once you land a job in PR, you will immediately  be thrown into campaigns and  learn how to work with different clients. However when executing a campaign, how is the  budget laid out? What’s the best way to negotiate with outside vendors?  What is and isn’t shared with clients?  And overall, how does new business come about?

Again, a lot of this is learned through experience and colleagues, but it wouldn’t hurt to be well-versed in the business  side of PR  after  graduating.

This is based solely on my experience so you may have learned some of the above  in school  or there could be other topics you felt were untaught.

Either way, do not take for granted the opportunity you have in college to ask these questions to your professor or another PR professional. I’m sure they would be happy to help…or we could!

images via rottentomatoes.com

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