The PR Rookie Tool Kit- Tips & Tricks For Your First PR Job

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As the new kid to the public relations school, I entered my first full-time position here at Ebben Zall Group with starry eyes, and five internships under my belt. Coming into this position as an Account Coordinator straight from graduate school has been quite an experience. What I didn’t realize was that a PR professional has more responsibilities than ever in today’s digital and fast-paced world.

For my first contribution to our EZG Blog, I have decided to provide other Millennials some tips for surviving their first role in public relations.  Even though I did learn a lot from internships, nothing beats real world experience.

1.      Arm Yourself with Answers.

Always anticipate questions from a client. When speaking with clients, I have learned that it is important to leave no stone unturned. By demonstrating preparedness, clients become well informed and the PR team becomes trusted. When all potential bases are covered, your client will feel comfortable placing their success in your hands— and that can lead to a long and successful relationship.

2.      Trust your Social Media Instincts.

Chances are you are going to be spending much of your time interacting on social media. As a millennial, I have used social media in my daily routine for quite some time, but it is a different ballgame when it is used professionally. If a tweet or post does not sound quite right, don’t post it. If you sense controversy, follow your gut and save yourself the trouble. Don’t be afraid to get a second opinion from a co-worker if you are on the fence.  Look at what happened to Dr. Phil this past week: a careless tweet landed him in some hot water with the media.

3.      Create Multiple To-Do Lists to Remain Organized

PR professionals need to be thorough and well-organized when relaying information internally and externally. If you work at an agency, you are most likely bouncing around different projects with multiple clients throughout the day. Keep multiple “To Do” lists for urgent tasks and a separate list for long-term items. I personally have a table with items under four different categories marked urgent, tomorrow, next week, and ongoing. I update this every day to stay on top of my work and committed to organization. Tip: color-coding your tasks can also be a big help as well.

To my friends who have decided to embark on a career in public relations: this may be your first “real world” experience.  The territory may seem daunting at first, but remember that your co-workers were once in your shoes. Don’t be afraid to ask them for their own tips and tricks – they want to help you learn. Use their knowledge to your advantage, because one of the best benefit of a team is the shared experiences that can be gained.

Millennials are a new generation looking to find a voice, and what better way to do it than working in PR?  I hope these tips were useful, and if you have a trick or tip to share send me a tweet @ShawnaLMarks. I’m always happy to trade ideas with fellow millennials and communication professionals. Good luck and don’t forget to keep calm, after all, you’re in PR! 😉

Shawna w/ PR sign

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