Advice for an aspiring publicist

June 30, 2021 By 0 Comments

Breaking into the public relations industry can feel daunting, but it can also be one of the most rewarding and exciting jobs. As someone who has recently kicked off my career, I wanted to share my recommendations for aspiring publicists to help them feel well equipped to begin their career.  

Say yes to experience:    

Entering a fast-paced office environment can be intimidating, but it is true what they say about internships being a great learning experience. While getting a university degree is important to understand the theory of communications, nothing beats hands-on industry experience. An internship provides you with invaluable insights into what your career may look like and grants you the opportunity to determine whether you prefer in-house or agency PR. Another bonus of an internship is you begin making industry contacts. 

However, experience doesn’t need to stop at internships. Volunteering at events while completing your degree, helping a friend with their small business or taking a short course to expand your knowledge in an area, such as social media, will make your resume stand out from the crowd.     

Relationships matter:     

It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know. Relationships are the backbone of all PR efforts. Whether it’s building relationships with the media, influencers or clients – or even simply making the effort to connect with strangers at an event, you never know when that relationship will help you out. Having a black book of contacts, you can call upon is key to working efficiently and effectively in the industry and is essential to a successful PR campaign. 

Know the media landscape:     

Read everything and anything. Being in the know with all different types of news will not only give you plenty to chat about at your next dinner party, but it is critical when talking to clients and journalists. Start to understand which journalists write on what topics. When you are consistently reading their work, you have a better understanding of how to craft a pitch that works for them and your client. 

Understanding how the media and different publications work early on will save you a lot of time in the future. Learn about how the deadlines and structure of different media outlets work, they vary more than you think. Soon you’ll know that broadcast journalists receive their allocated stories early in the day or the importance of pitching well ahead of cut-off periods for longer lead publications. Beginning your PR career with this knowledge will save you time, give you a leg up and add to your industry credibility.  

I hope these tips help you on your journey to becoming a publicist. Remember, the more questions you ask and the more experiences you say yes to, the faster you will be on your way to becoming a PR polymath.   

Written by Emily Pruessner, Account Coordinator