I aspired to become a nurse, but when I was preparing to apply to nursing school, I studied abroad in Europe.
As I traveled to different countries, I became fascinated with cultures and the ways in which people interact. I realized that communication affects everything in our everyday lives and beyond. When I returned home, I switched my major to journalism and PR. Because of my winding road into the industry, I’m passionate about mentoring young PR pros.
For communicators who are just starting out, here are some things I wish I had known when I got my first PR job:
1. Read to stay on top. Read as much as you can, particularly from publications that are important to your clients and their industries. It’s a valuable way for you to get to know reporters, the topics they cover and trends that matter.
Set up alerts, sign up for newsletters and bookmark relevant pages. Develop a routine; start with 30 minutes a day.
2. Multitask, or go home. There will be days when your first job feels more like juggling than PR. In a span of 30 minutes, you could track and send media coverage, manage launch logistics (where one misstep could be detrimental), research, build a database, submit an award and tweet a live webinar.