Advice for PR and communications graduates

Persistence, forethought, and a little gratitude will take you a long way in your career to come.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

I received this tweet last week from @AntoineSarpong in the PR program at Centennial College.

Getting that first job in your chosen profession can be a big source of anxiety. I wanted to reply with something a bit longer than 140 characters. So here, in good old long form, is my advice for the PR and corporate communications grads of 2013:

Become a great writer.

If your PR/communications career were a house, writing would be its foundation.

There isn’t any aspect of your PR/communications career that won’t benefit from stronger writing skills. Whether you’re creating a media pitch, news release, communications plan, key message, matte story, speech, Web copy, Facebook update, or blog post, strong writing skills will help set you apart from the crowd. If your writing skills are weak, you risk losing projects, clients, and maybe even your job.

There are only two ways to get better at writing.

1. Read a lot.
2. Write a lot.

Have you read a well-written article? Save it in a “great writing” folder for future inspiration. Make sure your copy is crisp, compelling, and mistake-free. Proofread multiple times. Have a friend or co-worker critique it before you submit it. Be your own ruthless editor.