Are you transitioning into a full-time public relations professional? As someone who has recently taken the steps from student to intern to full-time employee, I’m sharing lessons I’ve learned along the way that they don’t teach you in school. Keep these in mind as you make the transition to full time.
In my previous blog post, I explained the first six lessons learned. Here are the last six:
- Familiarize Yourself With Social Media: Developing social media calendars for clients, as well as monitoring social media accounts and engaging with followers, was one of my main points of focus on client accounts as an intern. Luckily, I had some idea of what to expect going into my internship, as I had taken a social media class at SJSU. I suggest everyone take a class focused on social media if they have the opportunity. It has become a large part of communications in the last few years, so having mad skills in this department can give you a leg up.
- Prepare For Email Overload: From internal emails to client emails to being CC’d on emails, understanding how to handle them all is important. Sure you’ve dealt with emailing professors in college, but managing work emails isn’t the same. It may seem overwhelming when you have a large number in your inbox, but try to tackle them one at a time. Creating sub folders for your inbox will definitely help you keep track of them all. Also, you don’t need to respond to every single email right away. Doing so can end up diverting your attention away from important tasks, and you’ll ultimately end up utilizing your time inefficiently. We have a two-hour client response time policy at McGrath/Power. Consider doing the same.
- Know How To Multi-task: From creating social media calendars to developing briefing sheets to writing blog posts to checking in on email, you’ll never get bored. Being able to prioritize and tackle assignments is key to doing well (and to staying sane).
- Get Ready To Answer The “What Do You Do?” Question: Even during my time in college while I was getting my degree in PR, I got this question all the time. Trying to answer it can be interesting. Becoming a full-time PR pro has definitely helped me round out my answer because it’s given me real-world experience I can draw from. Even so, trying to explain “a day at the office” to my roommate can still miss the mark of understanding. Think about the bigger picture when explaining what you do. After all, aren’t PR professionals essentially storytellers for a brand?
- Communicate: That’s right. I’m telling you brand new communications professionals to communicate. If you don’t already expect this, you may want to rethink some things. PR is all about communicating, whether it be with clients, co-workers, journalists, or through press releases, social media, blogs, etc., we are always communicating. Knowing how to communicate effectively is essential. Period.
- Expect The Unexpected: No one day is the same in the life of a PR professional, and don’t let this deter you. It is one of the best things about PR; every day brings something new and exciting, especially in the first 12 months. Always expect the unexpected.
Beginning your transition to becoming a PR pro? Keep these 12 things in mind as you make your way, and share them with others! For those of you who have passed the 12-month mark, what advice do you have for those just beginning their careers? Tell us in the comments section below!