Congratulations! So, you’ve scored your first position as a public relations or communications professional. Are you feeling nervous? Excited? Out of your depth? Many graduates experience these feelings when stepping into their first role upon finishing university. However, this first opportunity should be utilised to learn, grow, create and flourish in this exciting, creative, fast paced industry.
Here are 5 top tips for graduates embarking on their journey within the public relations and communications industry.
1. Ask questions
No one knows everything, so don’t feel as though you need to! No graduate goes into their first role knowing every process, how to create a communications plan or in depth strategy, or have a network full of media professionals. This is your opportunity to pick the brains of those who have been in the game longer than you have. Ask questions related to how they structure their press releases, which media are the most appropriate to contact for specific clients, & they schedule and monitor social media.
Use this first role as an avenue to learn more about the career you’ve chosen to pursue and ask as many questions as you can.
2. Be open-minded
Open-mindedness encourages individuals to consider new ideas and situations and have a willingness to adapt to them.
As a communications graduate, many situations in your first role will be considered “new” so use every situation, every task, every meeting, every piece of advice as a learning opportunity. Unsure as to how to schedule social media content? Jump in and give it a try! Immerse yourself in every aspect of your role and be open-minded.
3. Make a good impression
This is your opportunity to set yourself up in the industry so ensure you make a good impression to your colleagues, media professionals, clients and anyone who is associated with the company.
Smile, shake hands, make conversation, learn individual’s names, offer suggestions and ideas, stay organised and always go that extra mile.
Making a good impression is essential in this industry and is critical to succeed in the long run.
4. Be confident
You were given this position for a reason. Obviously, your skills, knowledge and personality are exactly what your employer was looking for, so have confidence that you will succeed in your role.
If you’re struggling to craft the perfect press release for your client, remember that you know the essential ingredients required for an impressive press release therefore, be confident that whatever you produce will turn out just right. Feel as though you have a great idea to pitch to your supervisor about a PR activation or marketing strategy? Offer your idea up in the next team brainstorming session. Be confident in your ideas as they might just be perfect for a client.
Your first role should be about taking risks, being confident in your work, offering ideas and knowing that you have the right tools to create the best content and succeed as a public relations professional.
5. Practice your communication skills
This industry is all about communication and being able to communicate well. Enjoy any opportunity to write press releases, blog posts, social media content and emails as these will assist in perfecting your communication style and ensure less mistakes in the future.
However, communicating doesn’t just come in the form of the written word. Use this opportunity to talk with clients and pitch to media and refine the way you interact with industry professionals.
Whether it is written or verbal, ensure you always practice communicating as having a good communication style will make your job simpler and work in your favour in the future.
Being in the public relations and communications world is exciting, embrace it and work hard.