I started my public relations career with MAPRagency in March 2021 after studying public relations in college and completing a few internships. While I was feeling completely prepared to enter the world of PR, there are a few key lessons I’ve learned during my first few months that I think are important for new and aspiring PR professionals to learn in order to be as successful as possible in a new role.
Lesson One: All Kinds of Communication are Key
Working in public relations means communicating, both internally and externally, with many different people in many different ways throughout the day. Executing all of this successfully comes from knowing your own communication style and understanding that of others. For example, you may be accustomed to keeping track of work through a weekly email with a client, but the client might prefer to discuss things over the phone. Or you might prefer to have an internal meeting to go over a client briefing whereas your coworker would rather review it individually. Finding a balance that keeps everyone on the same page is key.
Knowing when and how to reach out can also help to build better relationships with reporters. Just like clients, you might encounter reporters who prefer phone calls to emails and vice versa. You may also find that there are some reporters who are more receptive to pitches at certain times or who are always looking for specific angles for stories. Keeping these preferences in mind might mean getting more coverage for your clients!
Lesson Two: Keep Yourself Organized
This may seem obvious, especially after organizing your work for college courses and internships, but organization is critical to your success as a PR pro. When working as part of a team, your organizational abilities (or lack thereof) don’t just affect you, they affect how the team works together. For example, taking time at the end of the day to make sure that project management platforms, shared folders and documents are up to date has been crucial to keeping in step with my colleagues. Also, connecting with teammates to discuss project updates on a consistent basis has helped ensure that I’m on top of my work.
Whether you use an organizational platform or a good ol’ pen and paper, staying organized also assures your team can support you as much as possible. After all, if you aren’t on top of your tasks for the week, you won’t be able to prioritize your time and understand when you need to reach out for help. Being unorganized could result in deliverables not meeting deadlines, making the relationship with your client a bit more challenging.
Lesson Three: Take Pride in What You Accomplish
Your first few months in a new role may seem like a whirlwind as you learn everything about your new company, clients and coworkers. Sometimes, this can mean that big accomplishments and successes get pushed to the back of your mind as you try to navigate the challenges. However, it’s important to take a step back and recognize the great work you’ve done from time to time throughout your career, but especially when you’re still learning. Taking pride in what you’ve accomplished will help build your confidence, which will in turn make you a more successful PR professional.
There are some lessons you can only learn as you gain experience working. Taking in as much as possible when you are new to the PR profession will make you more successful in the long run. Luckily, having a great team to support you along the way (like the team at MAPRagency) makes this process easy, fun and rewarding!