If you want to work in the public relations field there are a few things you need to get yourself prepared for. The first one is making sure that you are up to date on the latest media publications and the latest media contacts. You may not realize it now, but the level of relationships you have with key media contacts will be critical on how far you go in the public relations field.
I previously worked in the public relations field for several years and I can tell you that there are a lot of differences between PR back then to PR right now. One of the biggest differences is the number of print publications. Back when I worked in PR there was quite a few key print publications a PR professional could choose from. I can remember pitching stories to editors and writers at publications like Glamour, Smart Business, Essence, Upstart, CEO Magazine, Ad Age and Portfolio. Many of these publications are still in business, however quite a few are only in a digital format. Because of this, it takes a different strategy and approach to pitch a story today. For example, when I worked in PR I would use a fax machine to send my story pitches to a media contact, but today I don’t think many PR professionals use fax machines at all. Since everything has gone digital, I would expect that PR professionals today would need to use online tools like social media to pitch a story.
In order to attract the attention of an editor on social media, you need to be an active and consistent social media user. This means you need to start setting up your social media accounts, and doing your research on which publications and editors are active social media users.
Another thing you want to start working on when pursuing a PR career, is becoming knowledgeable about how to create and update blogs. Many clients today will often hire someone from a PR agency to manage their professional blog activity. This will include posting updates and responding to all reader comments. You will also need to be up to date on the latest topics of interest in your client’s industry. Having this information will help you come up with article ideas.
It also wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your writing skills since you will probably be required to write numerous media advisories and press releases, and maybe even a speech. Research some of the current press releases online to see what current format is being used.
As you can see, if you want to be successful in public relations you will need a lot of key preparation.