Just graduated, now what? Here are 4 ways to break into the PR industry

New-JobDid you just recently graduate from college or are you thinking about transitioning your career to Public Relations? Here are four helpful steps to begin your journey:

Internships

Public Relations agencies and companies look to hire individuals who currently have experience in the industry. Interning is great way to gain on-the-job training, network with staff and build your resume. You will be the person who might research new topics for pitches, update media lists, assist with events, write materials and even help with administrative tasks. While interning, ask many questions and create a portfolio of your work samples (press releases, bylines, media alerts, pitch letters).

Networking

This is one of the most important steps in obtaining your first entry-level job. Networking and building relationships is important because you can learn from others’ experiences and about potential job openings. Joining organizations like the Black Public Relations Society of New York or the Public Relations Society of America are great because you can attend events, connect with new people and even find a mentor within the industry. In this industry it is all about who you know so start networking as much as you can!

Social Media Presence

Studies have shown that HR recruiters today find a majority of their candidates through social media. Continue to update your LinkedIn account by including all of your skill sets and experience allowing recruiters to reach out to you about new opportunities. You can also follow prospective recruiters and companies on Twitter. Re-tweet and start conversation with recruiters or publicists. Leave comments and suggest helpful content on Twitter, Facebook or blogs that relate to your perspective of the public relations and communications industry. As you network you should connect with those individuals through social media to help your relationships grow.

Continuing Educations Courses

This industry is ever-changing so it is important to keep abreast of all the new technology and terms used in the workforce. Companies like Ragan CommunicationsMediaBistro and several colleges offer new courses and workshops every day. Advanced Degrees in Public Relations and Corporate Communications may also be a great route to gain experience before you start your first job.

Obtaining an entry-level career in public relations can be discouraging at times because there is so much competition from recent graduates, seasoned professionals, and those who want to transition from one career to another. Once you land your first job always remember to ask many questions, come to work on time and be the “go-to” person in the office. Consider yourself as a valuable addition to the company and shine through it all.

Happy job-hunting!

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Shavone Williams is a young professional specializing in the media industry. She has experience working with WOR Radio, Sony Music Entertainment- Masterworks Record Label, several departments at her former college, and now Eda Kalkay Public Relations- a lifestyle Public Relations firm.  Shavone holds a Bachelors Degree in Broadcasting Communications from the State University of New York at Oswego. She is currently a member of Public Relations Society of America and Black Public Relations Society of New York.  Connect with Shavone.

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