It has been two years since I joined the team at Liberty PR. I’d just finished a degree in journalism and apart from the little bit of knowledge I’d picked up during internships along the way, I was almost completely new to the world of public relations.
Now almost 24 months later, the team have helped and supported me on my journey from a Junior Account Exec to Account Manager. Now I help to look after seven clients, which I never knew I was capable of when I first took the job!
As I approached this milestone in my career so far, it seemed the perfect time to put together a blog with some tips for anyone who is just starting out.
Grab every training opportunity available
One thing I’ve learnt since graduating university is that even though your education may be over, you will never stop learning. No matter your age or job title, always remain open-minded and grab every training opportunity given to you. I’ve learnt a lot by attending PRCA courses and events, so if your employer offers you the chance to go along – take it (and make lots of notes!). These opportunities are paramount in helping you gain the skills and confidence you need for the job.
Work on your listening skills
Being a good listener is arguably the most important trait for anyone in the PR industry. Whether you are talking to a client or a colleague, make sure you take everything in. This industry moves extremely quickly and to avoid being left behind, make sure you’re always engaged in any conversation. When you are starting in any career it can be quite overwhelming – trying to learn a new skill, managing a work/life balance and working alongside new people – can all be very challenging, but listen to those around you and it will make your journey so much easier.
The importance of media relations
PR agencies are judged on how many times they can get their clients’ names out into the media. From your very first day, you will need to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the journalist and really think about the type of content they want to receive. You’ll probably be thinking, ‘how do I do this?’. My advice would be – don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and find out exactly what they need so you can deliver it.
However, never forget that a journalist doesn’t have to run your story, so always remain polite and say ‘thank you’ when they use your content.
‘Find the common ground’
The PR industry revolves around strong relationships, and it is important that the people you work with know you are more than just a person on the end of an email. Most relationships are born through shared interests, so make sure you are always looking for the ‘common ground’ between you and those you work for. Whether you’re talking to a client or conducting an interview, challenge yourself to find out something about them – are they into a certain sport? Have they been on holiday recently? Maybe they are a new parent? People want to work with someone they can relate to, so be that person. You’ll be surprised how much they will open up to you.
At Liberty PR we’re always on the lookout for fresh talent as we continue to expand our team. If you’re looking for your first – or next – role in PR, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.