Home > Career development > Career tips for those entering (or in) PR

Career tips for those entering (or in) PR

Yesterday morning (a Saturday), I spent nearly an hour on the telephone with a college student who had a number of career-related questions. She’s interested in public relations after first thinking about broadcast journalism. She was working on a paper for a class — and had a number of good questions.

Here are a few of the ideas I shared with her, based on my 12 years in journalism and 18 in public relations:

(1) Get as much experience as you can. Do internships. Volunteer to help a non-profit. Work for a campus publication or broadcast outlet. Write for your hometown newspaper…

(2) Get involved in professional organizations, such as PRSSA. Volunteer to serve on committees. Lead projects. Develop your leadership abilities and teamwork skills…

(3) Become proficient in as many software tools as possible — everything from Adobe to WordPress. Learn to do web pages and desktop publish newsletters, brochures and posters. Know the latest with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare…

(4) Read blogs such as Strategic Public Relations by Kevin Dugan and Bootcamp Digital by Krista Neher. Know what the leaders are saying and doing…

(5) Read career-development books such as Stop Peeing on Your Shoes by Julie Bauke and Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand by Wiliam Arruda and Kirsten Dixon. Both books have helped me very much in my long, strange trip of a career.

(6) Network, network, network — both in-person and online. See what you can bring to the professional relationship, not what you can get out of it. Give, and you shall receive.

We covered lots of other ground, too. Would love to hear what ideas you have about career development.

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  1. February 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I agree with all of this. As a PR student myself, I’ve learned A LOT more outside the classroom with internships, client work and different projects than I have with anything else. Real world experience cannot be replaced.

    PRSSA has really helped me and my fellow members a lot! We have been doing/will continue to do social media workshops to get people involved more online and with more things like WordPress and other sites.

    I also try to read blogs, catch up with the news and read PR and marketing books.

    GREAT post!!

    • mikeboehmer57
      February 13, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks, Lauren! There’s no substitute for experience. Best of luck in your career path.

  1. February 13, 2011 at 3:10 pm
  2. February 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm

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