Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mission Impossible? Migrating to a Career in Public Relations

Here is another guest blog of mine on Lindsay Olson's site on migrating from a career in journalism to one in public relations.

Being a public relations job coach, I am constantly advising folks about how best to manage and architect their growth as public relations professionals. Lately though, I am receiving queries about how to migrate into a career in PR from journalism.

Welcome to Mission Impossible! Making a career change in this economic environment is challenging at best. However, it is doable with some planning and diligence. For certain, if you currently have a job in journalism it is definitely good training for a career in PR. That said, do not quit your day job until you have done some preparation.

Here are some steps to consider:

1. Enroll yourself in a PR bootcamp. Check the professional development sites of PRSA, IABC and/or other professional communications organization Web sites.

2. Start developing a network of PR professionals who can give you insight into their jobs. You might even ask one or two PR pros to allow you to shadow them for a couple days to give you first hand knowledge of what public relations folks do. You can do this by attending meetings and workshops by your local PRSA, IABC, or publicity club chapters.

3. Expand your network of contacts and begin to institutionalize them through tools such as Linkedin and Facebook.

4. Start building an online portfolio of your work that you can use at some point when you begin looking for PR positions.

5. Pick up a couple of books on public relations and read them. You can get some recommendations at Amazon.

6. Start assessing your online brand and insure that what is on the web about you is correct and is positioned the way you want. Build, enhance and/or check your profiles on Linkedin, Facebook, Myspace, Google Profile, Twitter, Digg, Tumblr, Ning, etc. etc. Make sure the information is accurate and says what you want.

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