12 lessons from my first 12 months in PR

Today’s quite special. It marks my first 12 months working in public relations. Here are 12 lessons I’ve learnt during my time in PR.

#1 Choose a job you like

Finding a job you like will help you get out of the bed in the morning. You won’t even feel like you’re going to work. And isn’t it cool to be paid for reading newspapers?

#2 Never stop learning

What I love about PR is that this industry throws a lot at you. In the last 12 months I was exposed to so many things; from retail and e-commerce through to deep tech and AI, all the way to financial services. There’s this cliché that no two days are ever the same in PR, but I’ve learnt it’s so very true.

#3 Keenness and enthusiasm are key

In order to learn, you’ve to be keen. Stay constantly curious, ask the right questions, and always put your hand up.

#4 You really have to manage your time

PR is fast-paced. You should be flexible, transparent with your team, and always realistic. And learn to manage your inbox.

#5 Take your time with things

There’s nothing worse than rushing work and trying to get it out of the way too quickly. It’s better to take your time and get your work signed off straightaway than keep coming back to it after a few rounds of feedback.

#6 Pay attention to detail

Double- and triple-check your spelling. Missing words, grammar errors and typos will make you look less credible.

#7 Ensure the correct attribution of a comment

Whenever sending a comment from your client to a journalist, make sure you make it crystal clear who should be attributed to this quote. You don’t want your name to appear in print as a spokesperson of a high-profile organisation. And this definitely didn’t happen to me in my first year of working in comms.

#8 Persistence is good, but don’t be too persistent

Especially when dealing with journalists. If your story is strong and you pitch it in a right way, it’ll get noticed. You don’t want to get shouted at by a national journalist for a lousy follow-up call.

#9 Network

Be on the constant lookout for the opportunities to meet new people. Start with people within your company, then branch out to other industry professionals and journalists. You won’t climb the comms mountain on your own.

#10 Get mentors

I’m really privileged to have gained so many pieces of advice from some of the best people. I had and still have a number of mentors I chat to on regular basis. Make the most of networking events and get some advice from those more experienced than you. Don’t wear your headphones in the office — learn from people around you instead.

#11 Don’t beat yourself up

Understand that you’re just starting out. Don’t be too hard on yourself for making mistakes and not knowing things. It’s a learning curve!

#12 Enjoy it!

Working in public relations can be stressful, but it’s a brilliant career path. Enjoy it and make most of it!

***

If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!