Whether you’re getting ready to graduate or you’ve been out of school for a while, continuing to be proactive about your PR education is crucial to your career development and long-term success in the industry.
As a recent graduate and fresh PR professional, I’ve realized how important it is to be familiar with current trends and themes – all the way from interacting with media to creating the most engaging social content. The industry continues lurching forward, with expectation to grow 9 percent according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, and being a recent graduate affords me a certain perspective around what education looks like externally and internally.
Below are some best practices on how to remain current in your PR education, whether a current college student or college graduate starting out in the field.
Current college students
Create and maintain relationships with your professors – As freshmen, we’re told to visit professors’ during their office hours to introduce ourselves. I can attest, even in a 500-person class, the professor will remember your face, if not your name. Building these relationships is not only good practice for future relationship-building but professors often have a solid network and are willing to share it.
Utilize your university’s online job/volunteer-search portals – Often, these portals allow you to customize your search by industry, job title, job type (internship, part-time, full-time) employer, and even location. Whether you’re hunting for a job or looking through all the available opportunities, this resource allows you to sleuth for all the possibilities. Not only are job portals helpful to recognizing possibilities but you’re able to examine various PR businesses’ websites to get a sense of how they function, their best practices, how large/small the business is, and more.
Current college students & college graduates:
Read books and articles – There are a handful of PR books and resources for educational articles. Communiquè’s very own founders, Colleen and Jennifer, wrote Strategic Public Relations: 10 Principles to Harness the Power of PR, which is now used as a textbook at higher education institutions. Some of my other favorite books and websites are below:
Leverage LinkedIn and other professional networking sites – Over the years, LinkedIn has become a hub for building and maintaining company and personal brands. Additionally, it allows you to share and keep track of your achievements over the years and network with industry leaders. It is an especially useful tool when creating briefing documents for interviews.
In a flourishing industry, it’s crucial to be proactive in your PR education and hone your personal skills. Stay tuned, I’m exploring mine.
Tags: education, Networking, PRprofessional