Attention, Young PR Professionals — A Few Backdoor Tips to Get You Through Your First Year

Tips for young PR professionals starting out in the professional world.

By Emily Scher
The Hoffman Agency, San Jose

When we young college grads and professionals first enter the workforce, we take in all the help we can get. When I first joined The Hoffman Agency, I was determined to pick anyone and everyone’s brains, from “Do I bring my own laptop?” to “How should I format this press release?” to “Should I pack a lunch?” It’s safe to say I was a little nervous.

Fast forward a year from when I started as an intern. I’ve gathered a few uncharted tips on my own, and I’m more than willing to share them with the rookies.

  1. Stay on Top of News

    Turn on the news while you get ready for work, set up Google alerts, read a newspaper. Whatever your approach, following the news will overall make you more interested and interesting. Personally, I have the local news on while I make my breakfast. When I get to the office, I read The Skimm (highly recommended for a quick recap!), and then if time permits, I scan through my Twitter feed for anything I might’ve missed. I also make sure to check all my Google and TalkWalker alerts that I’ve set up to keep track of client-related news.

  1. Find a Mentor

    Having someone to look up to and guide you through your first year as a PR professional is critical. Whether it’s someone you sit across from, a member of one of your teams or your manager, find that person that you feel comfortable with to ask a lot of questions, have review your blog post or even just tell you the best lunch spot in the area.

  1. Learn to “Speak PR”

    If you think we PR professionals knew all the jargon immediately, think again. It may take you a little while to catch on to what “vet an opp,” “draft the action items” or “scan the HAROs” means, but you’ll get there eventually. Hint: Google is your best friend. Soon enough you’ll starting speaking PR without even realizing you’re doing it.

  1. Take Daily Walks or Eat Lunch Outside

    The majority of us sit at a desk from about 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. That’s A LOT of sitting and staring at a computer screen. When you feel your eyelids start to shutter, make the effort to get away from your desk and walk outside. Stepping away from your desk at least once a day gives both your brain and body the sunlight, fresh air and stretching that it needs to stay creative and alert.

  2. Don’t Take Edits Personally

    Throughout our educational careers, getting a marked up paper back from a teacher was a sign of a lower than expected grade. Once you enter the workforce, don’t look at numerous tracked changes as a bad thing! Your teammates want to see you succeed and produce top-notch work, and that means it’s a team effort to create the final product. Review the edits closely and take note of what you can keep in mind for the next blog post you craft. Think of it simply as a collaborative learning process, not that you got a C+ on your assignment.

  3. Have a Positive Attitude

    Being upbeat probably seems obvious, but making a mental note to stay positive sometimes takes more effort than you think. Waking up in the morning and telling yourself it’s going to be a good day, regardless of what gets thrown your way, can make or break your attitude. Come into work excited to take on new projects and increase the breadth of your skills. I promise it will pay off!

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