Ten Tips for PR Agency Rookies
Fresh out of college, life can be intimidating. Luckily, we have many individuals who have gone before us in the fast-paced world of public relations that are available to tap as resources. Thirty days into being at a PR agency, I have already learned an enormous amount from the team around me. Here are ten tips from a fellow PR rookie:
1) Learn to Love PR Jargon
The phrases “the devil is in the details,” “let’s table that,” “vet an opp,” “less is more” and “is that feasible?” are all things you will soon hear on a day-to-day basis. If you’re literal like me, it may take you an extra minute to catch on to what some of the phrases actually mean, but you’ll get there. Soon enough you’ll even find yourself using these phrases only to realize you’ve started “speaking PR” yourself.
2) Forge Relationships
Find something in common with EVERYONE you meet and talk with. While it may seem intimidating as a newbie (who most people assume knows nothing about anything in this world) to find something in common with a 65 year old reporter of the opposite sex, remember that a single conversation may land you something big at some point along the way.
3) Ask Questions
Asking questions it is an essential part of being a new hire individual. I’m told it shows initiative. The more you ask, the more your team will understand you want to learn and be a part of what is happening around you. No one expects you to be a PR wizard….after all you’re probably only 22 or 23 years old. Tap your co-workers who have been in your shoes recently, as they are most likely the ones who will understand where you’re coming from. If they don’t know the answer, don’t be afraid to ask more senior team members as well.
4) Wear a Watch
There is nothing less impressive (or more embarrassing) than being late to a team meeting, or more cringe-worthy - a meeting with a client.
5) Buddy Up!
Seek out a work buddy or ask if your company has a “buddy” program. Having an individual who is around your age (but more experienced) to turn to with general questions and curiosities about your company and the industry is an amazing outlet. I turn to mine multiple times a day. They’re there to help you be the best you can be!
6) Be Organized and Learn to Juggle
You will be on multiple accounts who all think they’re your #1 priority at any given moment. It may take you a little while to find a system that works best, but the faster you find it, the easier your life will become.
7) Have Fun with Your Co-workers
You will be spending an enormous amount of time with these people and it’s important that you can have fun with them! If you can’t, you’ll be miserable every day. Play office trivia like we do every week. Or, simply ask them about their lives and you’ll be surprised how much you have in common.
8) Get out of your cubicle
If you’re like me, you can’t stand sitting in the same spot for one hour never mind 8-10 hours of your day. Take advantage of moving around any way you can. Take a lap around your office when you feel yourself drifting off to La La Land. We’re lucky enough to be able to walk around downtown Boston during lunch, but walking anywhere outside helps! If you have a laptop, go sit out in the kitchen or breakroom to get work done. If you’re lucky like I am, your boss will let you have an ongoing office version of capture the flag to get people out of their seats. It will help you focus on your work more effectively if you don’t sit in the same place for hours at a time.
9) Find an Outlet
Whether it be Pilates, boxing, running or walking your dog, find something that allows you to de-stress and relax. Your schedule is about to drastically change from a few months ago when you were living the college life…..*sigh, don’t we all miss it? You’re going to lose time to yourself unless you find a way to make some.
10) Stay Energized
You are the new young hire so you’re expected to be energetic and ready to go at all times. The more energy you have, the more willing others will be to talk with you (including your clients!) It always amazes me when people say they don’t drink coffee….I don’t understand how they function. But if you have another way to keep you energetic and engaged throughout the day, then power to you. I, however, am not one of those people.
What’s your advice to entry level PR professionals?