Time flies. It has already been a year since I joined Cicero & Bernay as a PR account executive.
My job in public relations provided me with amazing opportunities you just can’t get in other careers. In what other job do you get to be paid to read the news, immerse yourself in a wide range of accounts, soak up social conversations and be trusted with the deepest issues a company could have? It’s an industry where we have an insatiable appetite for ideas, where the news never stops and social channels never go dark.
The key to succeeding in such a rapidly growing industry is to never stop being curious. Always explore, read and search – whether online, offline or through word of mouth. This reminds me of a saying by Arnold Edinborough which states, ‘Curiosity is the very basis of education and if you tell me that curiosity killed the cat; I say only the cat died nobly.’
Never stop persevering, even in the face of challenges or adversity. I’ve learnt that perseverance is the most important factor to succeed in PR. If at first you don’t succeed… get right back up and try again. Good PR people don’t stop until they get results. The true art of this industry is to know the fine line between being determined and coming off as aggressive. PR is a job where you are judged on how well you get along with clients and the media. This isn’t a nine to five job, this is a lifestyle where the lines blur between work and social life. To win in PR you have to be collaborative and you must like working with all types of people.
Never stop reading and writing. Being a good writer is essential to both yours and your clients’ success. We are storytellers and the written word is a necessary way to share your clients’ story. When you really love what you do, it shows and with it comes results. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned, or you face rejection, having real enthusiasm in your daily interactions and activities will help pave the way to triumph. The ability to write easily, logically, and succinctly is vital in public relations.
Never stop networking. Networking – one of the biggest factors for public relations professionals is their network. In order to get stories covered, we need to have relationships with journalists who will be willing to write about our clients. It’s not a profession for introverts.
Accept that you’ll make mistakes. We all make them, and they’re a key piece of how we learn and improve. If you don’t make mistakes, then you’re not trying hard enough or not trying enough things. The key is to make these mistakes at the right time, in the right setting, and retain an ability to learn from them. Some of my most valuable lessons and most beneficial experiences have come from making mistakes. They weren’t pleasant at the time, but I learned from them and I’m better for it. What’s important is owning them and figuring out what to do differently next time.
Never stop being proactive. Always look around and proactively identify ways to expand your expertise, for example, by finding new ways to get better at tasks, or by getting involved in a project that stretches you, or by learning more about a relevant field.
I’ve learnt that every day is an opportunity to expand my knowledge and to learn and experience something and someone new. My advice is to seize the opportunity. Learn and experience everything you can, and use it to grow.