Today’s post comes from a friend of the Belle team, Corina Manea! Corina is sharing some great advice today from her years of experience in the PR industry. You can see her last post on blogging here. Learn more about Corina on her website, here.
“Working in PR is hard!” Isn’t that what you hear all the time? Well, I beg to differ and that’s because working anywhere is hard if you don’t like what you do. Going on holiday is hard if you are not properly prepared. You get my point.
Choosing a career in public relations, or any other field for that matter, should be because you can’t live a day without doing what you love. Not because it’s trendy, not because your parents told you so, not even because you are good at it. It should be because PR is what you see yourself doing every single day.
I fell in love with PR many years ago, while in high school after reading a book. I can’t remember the name of it, but I do remember how I felt after reading it. I knew in that moment that PR was what I wanted to do when I grew up.
Fast-forward to more than a decade later. I’ve learned a lot in my career and have fallen even more in love with PR. Today, I want to share with you some of the most important lessons I’ve learned in PR.
8 PR Lessons to Help You Succeed in Your Career
- Curiosity doesn’t kill the cat
Mr. Kirk Hazlett likes to say “curiosity doesn’t kill the cat” when working in PR. And he is right. You have to be curious by nature, you have to want to know things beyond your job description, you have to understand why things happen.
So, be curious, don’t automatically accept everything others tell you (even if it’s your boss) and investigate until you understand the “why” behind what you’re doing.
- Learning never stops
To succeed in PR is to join the “forever student league.” You have to keep learning, no matter how much you know. And this goes hand in hand with curiosity. When you’re curious, you learn new things. Keep learning from everyone around you, whether colleagues, bosses, partners or clients. Read industry blogs, connect with your peers and attend classes or conferences.
Never stop learning!
- Networking is key
Networking, whether in person or digital, is at the core of the public relations profession. Connect with people around you, join a PRSA chapter close to you and use social media to find and connect with other PR pros.
Being connected with PR pros, clients, etc. opens new doors for you in terms of learning, but also for future career opportunities. Don’t treat networking lightly.
- There is no such thing as “off the record”
I’ll say it again: there is no such a thing as “off the record,” whether you speak with a reporter you befriended, your colleagues or peers, your boss or even your company’s clients.
Make sure you are always professional and don’t say something you might regret later. We live in a small world and you never know when it might come back to haunt you. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Change is the only constant
When you work in PR you have to embrace change easily. Things are always changing and there are many unknowns. Working in PR is not having a boring job where you do the same things day in, day out.
You come to the office and more often than not, you don’t know how your day will unfold. That’s why you have to be mentally prepared and embrace change. It will not only help you adapt quickly, but you will also be able to find surprising solutions to difficult problems.
- Be a team player
PR is not a solo game. You have to be a team player. No one can go too far without the help of a team.
Help your colleagues when they most need it. Don’t let yourself be so buried in your job that you fail to pay attention to the people around you. Help others, and they’ll be there to help you when you need it.
- Project management can literally save you
It is not taught in school and many times it is not taught on the job, but project management should be a must on every PR pro’s agenda.
Learning effective project management helps you do a number of things:
- structure your ideas
- prioritize tasks and projects
- prepare for obstacles and problems
- organize events and press conferences
But probably the most important skill that you gain through project management is the ability to see the big picture in every situation. This skill is so essential, agencies and PR departments should have special training on project management for their teams.
- Find balance
PR is a demanding profession. At the end of the day you can find yourself mentally exhausted. That is why it is very important to learn to disconnect. Take real time off on your weekends and on vacation, disconnect from all your devices and enjoy nature, your friends and family. Travel. Do what makes you happy.
Disconnecting will help you to come back with more energy and creativity. When you give your brain a pause from work, you will find solutions to problems you couldn’t figure out before.
These are some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my career in PR. What is your PR advice?
Corina Manea is an independent PR professional and social media strategist, currently living in Madrid, Spain. Founder of NutsPR and with more than a decade in PR and customer service, she is passionate about helping businesses and individuals connect with their audiences on social media and build irresistible brands. Connect with her on Twitter.