Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Advice for Newly and Soon-to-be Minted PR Pros - How to Thrive and Survive in PR

On Saturday, March 18, 2010, I had the honor and pleasure of speaking to about 80 newly and soon-to-be minted public relations professionals at a regional PR student conference at San Jose State University The theme of the conference was "Surviving in the Public Relations Industry." These energetic students, all members of the Public Relations Student Society of America, from San Jose State, Sacramento State and Cal Poly Pomona were eager to pick every morsel of wisdom from all who spoke. 

Upon the gracious invitation of Matt Malone, I agreed to speak about both Thriving and Surviving Public Relations. I spoke about the State of the PR Job Market, How you distinguish yourself, what are Characteristics and Skills of a PR Pro, Managing your online brand, and How best to approach a job search.

State of the PR Job Market  
  • Still in the hole
  • Be patient, it is a virtue
  • The Market is starting to open up
  • Locals have the advantage
  • Social media an absolute  
How to distinguish yourself   
  • The resume, it’s about accomplishments
  • Can you be found in cyberspace?
  • It’s the network – “Got network”?
  • A Great Portfolio in Cyberspace (the evidence)
  • What's your brand!  

Characteristics of a PR Pro
  • Adept communicator
  • Good writer
  • Diplomatic
  • Grace under pressure
  • Jack of all trades
  • Patient
  • Presentation skills
  • Short learning curve
  • Team player
  • Trend/Industry follower
  • Solid understanding of business 

PR Pro Hard Skills  
  • Corporate finance
  • Economics
  • Marketing
  • Media relations
  • Public relations
  • Strategic planning
  • Statistics
  • Writing  

PR Pro Soft Skills 
  • Credibility and integrity
  • Flexibility
  • Persuasiveness
  • Articulate
  • Analytical
  • Team player
  • Organized
  • Objective
  • Diplomatic
  • Selling ability
  • Think strategically  
Managing your online brand  
  • Do you have brand?
  • Do you appear on Google?
  • Is your Facebook profile “pro”?
  • Are your tweets instructive or destructive?
  • Is your Linkedin Profile compelling
  • Take ownership of your brand at sites like http://www.zoominfo.com/, www.spoke.com, www.linkedin.com,  www.google.com/profile , etc.
  • Well craft your content
  • If you blog, be passionate
  • If you tweet, be smart   

How best to approach a job search  
  • Job search is a job, treat it that way
  • Use the available resources: e.g. http://prjobcoach.com  
  • Have a compelling resume and cover letter
  • Customize the resume and letter to the spec
  • Be found on Google
  • Network like crazy, but don’t ask for a job
  • Pay it back and pay it forward
  • Go Pro bono and build your portfolio and resume – Just Do It
  • Thank everyone regardless of how large or small the help!
In thinking about your career in public relations and how to thrive consider these realities: 
  • You are a product of your education
  • You are a product of your environment
  • You are the sum of your experiences
So carefully craft your experiences and make the best of the opportunities before you!

1 comment:

  1. Hope I was there! Really valuable information, thanks!!