Starting your career is one part excitement and one part nerve-wracking. When combined, you go through your day like a stress-filled firecracker who’s ready to take on the world although you have no idea how! To be a Pro in PR, or in any industry, you don’t necessarily need ten-plus years of experience. Here are some tips to owning your career from your first day to your last.
You’re starting a new chapter in your life and being passionate about it is crucial. With passion comes curiosity and asking questions should always be on your “To Do” list. If you have no idea how to perform a task, ask for help. Of course, you should try to figure it out on your own first but if you come to a dead end, don’t be scared to look to a co-worker or your boss. Asking questions leaves you open to the answers. There is no better way to show your boss that you’re determined to grow than proving you want to learn continually.
Don’t Take Things Personally
PR sometimes gets a bad reputation, and it can also get a lot of push back. One of the daily tasks of working as a publicist is pitching your clients to journalists and producers. This leaves the door open for unpleasant email exchanges. If you pitch your client and get a snarky response, don’t take it personally. Most of the time there is a reason for the remark. For example, you may have pitched someone who doesn’t cover the topic surrounding your client (this is a rule in PR, and you should always be double-checking a journalist’s beat), but mistakes happen. No matter what the reason, learn from the response and move on. Don’t take emails to heart.
Be Detail-Oriented and Meticulous
This point has more to do with the research side of PR and the processes you follow daily. When researching outlets, journalists, podcasts or anything else, make sure that you’re paying close attention to detail. It’s so easy to overlook something that may turn into a big mistake. We work in a fast-paced and high-energy industry that pushes us to go 100 miles an hour, but you still need to be conscious of your actions at all times.
You may think calling yourself a “pro” isn’t necessarily being humble. But just because you succeed and hopefully, surpass expectations early on in your career, doesn’t mean you need to believe there is nowhere to go. You CAN be a pro, but perfection will always be intangible. You may be talented when it comes to creating captivating subject lines, but still struggle in other areas. Every pro has her or his own personal goals and things to learn. Success is growth; it’s not an unshakable sense of flawlessness.
Time and experience are immeasurable, and no list of tips will make up for lack of these two. A successful career will always prepare you better because you’ve had time to learn from your mistakes, receive and reflect on the answers of questions asked, and ultimately practice your craft. Being the youngest person or least experienced at a company is intimidating but try using these tips to act like a pro. You can propel your career further than others at your level with a strong determination to do so. Take the advice given because no one rises to the top without the help of others.
—By Alyx Sealy, Assistant Account Executive