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With the shifting media landscape, the days of traditional public relations may be over but career opportunities and the importance of creativity and savvy social media skills are gathering a new found traction. According to oto5.com “The PR Industry is on the rise —a reflection of the growing need for great communications and the growth of social media outlets.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow 9 percent through 2026 which is above the average compared to many other fields. Working in the fashion industry, I’ve witnessed first hand that public relations is an exciting path to hone your strategic skills but also an opportunity to interface with multiple brands, founders, entrepreneurs, distinct events and venues resulting in a wide ranging on the job learning curve.
If you particularly enjoy relationship building, have strong persuasion skills, think outside the box and have a knack for storytelling, then this might be the perfect career fit. One of the best ways to double check if these skills are in your wheelhouse is to do a predictive behavioral assessment which is literally a snapshot of the way you think and work.
Kira Tirshfield an Account Supervisor at Covet PR running the agency’s LA office, who has an innate love for the field and in five short years quickly accelerated her career trajectory, backed this sentiment up sharing some of her insider knowledge for those contemplating a career in the field or for founders who are just getting their footing. If you’re looking to break into the industry Tirshfield recommends these tips and how to succeed as a relative newbie or better assess which agencies or brands might be the best personal fit.
Take Your Time To Learn The Industry Inside And Out. Depending on your area of interest or specialization, Tirshfield counsels the importance of immersing yourself in numerous media channels. Tirshfield subscribes to over six daily publications as well as downloads Texture to flip through favorite magazines on the go; continuously scrolls through Instagram (and honestly who doesn’t) to engage with favorite influencers and industry leaders; listens to podcasts on the way to and from work and subscribes to relevant newsletters. Being highly knowledgeable and engaged is critical to finding the right path and understanding your current or future area of choice.
Determine What Interests You The Most And Follow That Path. PR is all about relationships so do your research. Try and find a PR firm that specializes in an area that is of real interest whether its fashion, talent, beauty, celebrity, or lifestyle with an eye on the client list that is a strong match to your interests. If you are still in college consider securing an internship to build business relationships and connections that can propel you forward or land that intro job post graduation.
Tirshfield has one caveat. If you start out in a particular specialty and build your contact rolodex there, then want to switch to another area down the line, you’re going to have to start from square one cultivating brand new relationships. That’s not to say it can’t be done, and if you’re passionate about making the switch, by all means get after it but know it may temporarily slow your choices.
Master The Art Of The Email Pitch But Don’t Forget The Personal Aspect. PR is a highly personal business where the art of successful communication and persuasion is critical. The linchpin is having well-thought strategies that are flawlessly executed. Details matter especially when it comes to email tactics and etiquette (which are a big part of the industry).
Draft concise emails with the client or editor in mind. If you were to receive this email, what questions would you have, and what information should be included? Anticipate others next steps and stay ahead of them by offering up everything they could possibly need in your correspondence. Most importantly, what is the overall strategy you want to achieve and what is going to make the campaign and the overarching strategy standout in today’s cluttered media environment. It’s the creative, on-point, out of the box details that often make all the difference.
Give More Than You Take. Tirshfield jumps at opportunities to do favors for others by doing more for others than she requests. Down the line, this approach works when she may need a favor or support. The objective is to have a proven track record of being useful when you need to call in a favor for a project or a client.
Generate Outreach For Yourself As a Young Brand or Entrepreneur. Finally, since Public Relations is the earned media arm of a complete marketing strategy, newly founded brands and founders don’t away understand the importance or have access to a team. One of the best options is to work in-house for a start-up to gain front line experience. This is the ultimate pitch – yourself – so use the opportunity to showcase your passion, tenacity, research abilities, and resourcefulness. A top PR Manager I know landed her dream job using this approach by being being doggedly persistent. It worked. Plus she achieved a faster career trajectory.
If you do land that dream internship or job, or if you are lucky enough to have an agency, be sure to create checklists for yourself which outline clear objectives, ROI’s, and track goals, albeit prioritized in various orders: Sales (clickthroughs and purchases), Brand Awareness (engagement, unique views per month/circulation, email newsletter signups, etc.), and Content Creation (a story they can be shared on a validating outlet, imagery from an influencer that can be cross-promoted, or any content that can be leveraged across channels. It’s especially important to get the buzz and anticipation out there when launching a new brand or product so craft your approach carefully but also just as important to report the tangible results.
April 30, 2019 at 02:11PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs