How To Start a Rewarding Career in Public Relations

neon sign that says "Do what you love"
Millo Lin

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Job searching can be scary. It can be overwhelming to search through an array of career sites, industries and roles found online. Additionally, the overarching term of public relations comes with many layers: PR often intertwines with marketing, strategy, communications, social media and more. However, with adequate research, personal brand management and a solidified approach, the process of landing a rewarding career at a public relations agency can be made much easier. To assist you on your job searching journey, we’ve outlined a few steps that will set you up for success and connect you with a PR company you truly love working for.

Immerse yourself in media

This may sound obvious, but it’s important to stay up to date on news, trends and changes in PR. As the industry continues to evolve, we as PR professionals must utilize unique strategies that will make our clients stand out from the noise. Being well versed in print, social and online media will help you form opinions about current happenings and connect you with industries, stories and people that resonate. 

Following PR-related publications and accounts on social media, particularly on Twitter, is a great way to soak up the ins and outs of the industry. A few of my favorite accounts to follow are:

  • @APStylebook: AP Stylebook provides followers with grammar rules to keep PR professionals up to date on important guidelines for news writing.
  • @PRWeekUS: PR Week covers breaking news, features, analysis and opinions in PR as well as marketing strategies of companies, brands and organizations.
  • @adweek: AdWeek covers breaking news and trends in media, marketing and advertising along with creative examples of marketing campaigns.
  • @PRDaily: PR Daily is an educational resource that shares quick tips on how to write, pitch and communicate effectively.

Identify overlaps in your skills and interests

Experts estimate that the average person will work around 90,000 hours over their lifetime. That’s a long time to work in an industry or role you don’t absolutely love! To land a job that stimulates your mind and propels you into a rewarding career path, it’s important to search for career opportunities that align with your interests. For example, if you’re tech savvy and love building computers from scratch, a career in tech PR may be right up your alley (and you may fit in well here at Comprise!). 

Alternatively, understanding what industries and roles don’t particularly align with your skills and interests will also be helpful in your job search. If you hate going shopping and aren’t keeping up with fashion trends, a role at a fashion PR agency may frustrate you. Both you and your future employer will benefit when you’re in a role and industry that you feel truly inspired in.

Research, research, research

During your initial search, you’ll want to research companies that work with clients and in industries you identified in the previous step. PR agencies often share a list of past and former clients, industries they specialize in and coverage they’ve secured on their websites. For example, you can find examples of our work in PR here

Additionally, finding companies that align with your values will make your career more rewarding. If you’re looking to work for a company that provides a positive company culture, volunteer opportunities, or a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, this information can also be found with adequate research.

The research you perform here will also make you shine in your interview. Employers will take notice that you are familiar with the recent work they’ve done; being aware of a company’s process, whether they work in the B2B or B2C space, and the ideas they share on their blog proves you’ve taken the time to really get to know the company.

Archive your work

Over the years, whether you’re a recent college graduate or have several years of experience under your belt, you’ve probably worked on several projects that would be helpful to share with employers or reference in interviews. With just a standalone resume, employers may not be able to understand your skills. Press releases, pitches, blogs and social media campaigns that you’ve worked on in the past will effectively show how your skills have been applied. It’s important to save your work and have it in a form that you can share with employers electronically, like a portfolio or personal website.

Be prepared to talk about yourself

As PR professionals, we must be able to properly and publicly showcase our clients’ attributes, current events, history and more. If we can’t effectively talk about ourselves, who’s to say we can adequately talk about a client to the media and consumers? While it can sometimes be tough to vocalize our strengths and explain our weaknesses, this crucial skill shows employers you’re comfortable with the external duties that come with a career in PR. Ahead of your interview, start by nailing down an elevator pitch that describes your overall work history and experience and move onto developing one to two sentences for each of your past positions. 

With so many agencies and industries to choose from, finding a rewarding career in PR takes diligence and patience. If you’re looking to join a team of collaborative, innovative tech PR pros, good news: Comprise is hiring! Come work with us!

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