Getting my feet wet in the public relations industry

It’s been a great term so far and I must say it’s been a blessing being a student in the School of Journalism and Communication. From internships to school work, it’s been a hell of a ride being a aspiring public relations practitioner in this day in age. Although many people speak out about their idea of millennials having less opportunities in the work force than generations before, I believe we can all still find our niche role in this society somewhere. After some soul searching and switching my major a few times over the last three years, I’m convinced I have found not only my role in this complex society but also my passion. It wasn’t until I took my first entry level public relations class that I fell in love with the public relations industry.

I was first introduced to the idea of public relations two years ago during a marketing internship in which I did a broad range of work, mostly case studies and campaign planning. At the time I was pretty unsure of what public relations is and had a hard time differentiating it from the other integrated departments at my internship site which is what lead me to taking my first course in public relations. I always thought I was a pretty decent writer and it was time to put my writing abilities to work. Just after the first few classes, I became instantly intrigued by the tactics that public relations firms use to help organizations communicate with their various public’s.

It was now time to further my knowledge of the field of public relations and get my foot in the door of the industry, hence the title of this post “getting my feet wet.” A few more journalism classes and BOOM, I was admitted into the School of Journalism and Communication. It was now time to really develop my skills as a public relations professional. After talking to some advisers and faculty, it became clear to me that I would need to develop and perfect two things if I wanted to succeed in the industry: a strong resume and a solid portfolio. How was I going to do that? Internships.

So that’s exactly what I did. I knew that if I wanted to develop a strong portfolio and resume, I would have to seek out any internship I can get. My approach was to start low on the totem pole and work my way up. I realized that no agency or firm was going to hire an intern with absolutely zero professional experience so I started reaching out to connections and looking at on-campus internships that in one way or another apply to the field of public relations.

As I started to develop a better platform of knowledge and expertise of the industry, I felt like I was finally in a good spot to start branding myself as a leader in the industry. This drove me to figure out my focus, that is “public relations account strategy.” I enjoy working with others and taking initiative. Also, I felt as if a strength of mine is bringing creative ideas to the table. The focus I decided on was perfect. I’m now working on polishing my portfolio and resume and I can’t take for granted the advice and insight I’ve received throughout the last few years that has pushed me to be where I am today. I feel like I’m now ready to take the industry by storm and I’m excited for what’s next to come!