10. Embrace all the free online resources at your fingertips. From blogs to tweetchats, and everything in between, a great PR education is just a URL away.
9. Speak up during internal team brainstorms. In order to gain a voice in the room when you are with a client, you first need to use the one you have when you are in a room with your colleagues. You never know when you might say something that sparks an idea. (Don’t worry; even if you say something that doesn’t lead anywhere, your managers will still love that you were thinking and trying to be helpful.)
8. Make sure you have thick skin. You are going experience challenging clients that do nothing but tick you off and yell at you. You may even have co-workers whom you can’t stand. Although it may be hard to imagine, I can promise that you will learn a ton from these situations.
7. Be a newshound. Do you like to stroll into the office at 9:30, get a cup of coffee and a muffin, and then catch up with a few friends in the kitchen area before jumping into your work? Stop. Immediately. Get to work early, do a Google news search to see whether there are any stories your clients can speak to, and get your pitches out the door immediately.
6. Don’t be a media pest. Reporters get a ton of emails, and occasionally they may not see every single one of them that gets into their inbox. But speaking as a former reporter and current blogger, I can tell you that I read almost every email I get. If I’m interested in your client, I’ll let you know. Don’t follow up with me numerous times just to see whether I got your pitch. It’s 2011, and your email did not go into my spam folder. I got it. I read it. I moved forward accordingly.
5. Speak up if you are unhappy with something. Your boss isn’t a mind reader. If you aren’t happy with your accounts or think you deserve greater compensation, arrange a meeting with the appropriate senior people, be prepared to state your case in a professional manner, and get your opinion on record. This may help your current situation, or you may not see any changes right away. But keeping your mouth shut and bottling up your frustrations will get you absolutely nowhere.
4. Be a team player and not a lone wolf. No matter how talented you may be, the quicker you learn that you can’t do everything yourself, the better off you’ll be. There’s a reason why account teams have more than just one person on them.
3. Always ask to try new things. Are you only responsible for putting together media coverage reports or pitching the media for a specific client? Next time you find that a client has a request that isn’t on your list of responsibilities—writing a press release or a bylined article, for example—ask your boss if you can take a stab at it. You will absolutely make mistakes, but your boss will love your enthusiasm and initiative (and you’ll also learn something).
2. Don’t ever get comfortable at your job. You need to always be challenged and learning from people smarter than you. If you aren’t getting that education, it may be time to look elsewhere-and believe me, you’ll make new friends quickly at your next stop.
And the No.1 way to succeed in PR is…
1. Get results. If you get media opportunities for a client, not only do you look good, but so does your manager. If you do great work on a consistent basis and keep filling up your boss’s inbox with positive notes, I guarantee you will be moving up the corporate ladder in no time. And make sure to document everything that you do so that come review time you can easily showcase all your achievements from the previous year.
Andrew Worob is digital communications manager at Finn Partners/Ruder Finn. He blogs at PR at Sunrise, where a version of this story first appeared.