Your First Few Steps towards a Career in Public Relations

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As suggested by its name, public relations, commonly known as PR, is a field that has everything to do with communication between an organization or company, whether in the private or public sector, and its customers. It is about understanding the behavior and needs of the audience targeted by the company and about advising the company accordingly in order to enhance its standing with the target audience. Hence, what is central and absolutely crucial to any PR professional is effective and smooth communication in both oral and written forms.

A given company has to ensure that its target audience’s behavior is in sync with the company’s goals in order to be successful. This implies that a PR professional has to modify the behavior of the target audience according to the company’s desires. The Champlain College website notes that as a PR professional you could end up working for a PR consultancy, a non-profit organization, or a multinational company that has a dedicated PR department. So there are ample organizations to choose from and to work for.

Get the Right Qualification and Credentials



If you are toying with the idea of getting a PR job, then here are a few pointers that might be useful. The first and foremost is to ensure that one understands what the field is all about and what it entails. This is where some sort of qualification related to PR comes in handy. Your best bet is to look at what sort of PR-related courses are being offered by various universities and colleges. Often courses like journalism, mass communications, and business management cover PR as a subject. These courses might be a good starting point if your school offers no specific courses on PR.

While you are gaining theoretical knowledge, it might also be useful to get in touch with different PR professionals and get some hands-on knowledge about the nature of the work. Hearing about their experiences and talking with them will give you a better understanding of the profession. In fact, having a PR professional as a mentor can be very rewarding if you wish to pursue a career in public relations.

Gain Real-World Experience

The next stage is clearly gaining some practical experience in PR. As a student, the best place to begin would be the local organization that you are a member of. Volunteer to help them publicize their events, help them with fundraising campaigns, etc. Any of this work would entail you talking with the general public and convincing them about why they should contribute or participate in the event. Boring as it may sound, at the end of the day, it does give you some much-needed experience!

The other benefit of getting this hands-on experience is the fact that it will help you create a portfolio which will be of great interest to employers. It is worthwhile to keep a record of all the things you have done while doing your volunteer work. In particular, keep copies of letters that you have drafted, any other writing that you have done, or any newspaper clippings that have resulted in positive publicity for any events that you helped organize. All of these items could add to your portfolio.

Conclusion

The Public Relations Society of America’s website is one of the best resources available online to get more information on a career in PR. If you like talking with people, PR could be an exciting career option, and with the right qualifications and experience, there’s no looking back.
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