Starting a new job can be a daunting, and even nerve-wrecking experience whether it’s your first, or whether you have been in the industry for years. The public relations sector is a fast- paced world with last minute requests that require (no, demand) a quick turnaround. As a fresher in the field, your first few days will likely be filled with a palpable excitement and a little bit of healthy fear for the challenges ahead.
Here are a few golden nuggets of advice that I wish I knew when I first started:
Whether you do it first- thing in the morning while your Latte’s still hot, or at the end of the day, it’s always good to take a step back and think about what’s next. It always helps to make a list of all the priorities required for the day. This way, no matter how hectic the day might get, you’ll have a list to refer back to.
We might hate to admit it, but in the world of PR it’s essential to manage expectations, whether it’s your client’s or your manager’s. Don’t wait until the last minute to inform people if deadlines can’t be made; always think 5 steps ahead. That is when effective time- management skills become crucial and your to-do list is right up there with whatever else is on your emergency survival speed-dial.
PR is all about networking and building relationships. As with most careers in the service industry, it is important to build and maintain a mutually positive relationship with your clients. Media relationships are the key in PR. It is ideal to make time to meet editors and journalists face to face. Emails can be disregarded, and some of the best editors I’ve worked with often consider email impersonal. Thus, spare an hour and do a face-to-face whenever possible. It will pay off when you need it most!
Everyone has a different working style. It is important to learn from your managers and colleagues. Just because someone does something in a different way, doesn’t mean that it is wrong or right. Be a chameleon, learn from your environment and learn to adapt – it will make life so much easier.
Make sure to store these tips and pointers in your pocket before you step out to conquer the world of PR!