How to get ahead in your Public Relations career

Public relations is a competitive industry, so making sure you get noticed can be a challenge. Here’s some top career advice tips to ensure you don't get lost in the crowd.

Posted by Alex Robinson, PR Recruiter, Wednesday February 17 2016

Blog - How To Get Ahead In Public Relations

1. Establish a strong network

PR depends on excellent communication skills and the ability to form good relationships with others. You never know who might be an important contact for the future, who they might know and where knowing them might lead. Some of the best job opportunities are filled by good old-fashioned word of mouth, because it's all about trust. You're more likely to trust someone recommended by a friend than someone who just walks in off the street.

2. Educate yourself

Knowledge is power and in this fast-paced world it's important to keep up with the latest developments. With an array of social media platforms, it's never been easier to find out about potential employers and where their business is heading. Being up-to-date on current trends and advancements is vital to your future success and reputation.

3. Clean up your own online presence

PR is about image and one of the first things a potential employer will do is check your internet footprint. They will check your Facebook and Twitter accounts and the last thing they want to see is all the crazy, reckless or daring photographs, comments or other ill-advised postings you may feel were a good idea at the time. Employers will definitely check out your LinkedIn profile if you have one and if you don't have one, then it's essential that you create one and manage it well.

Another good idea is to create your own blog and publish your own content. You could write about the PR industry, companies you want to work for, share your views, promote conversation and blog about your areas of expertise. This is likely to help you with networking as well as attract potential employers to your blog. It's vital that you keep your online presence fresh and engaging.

4. Be solution focused

One of the most important elements of good PR is being able to anticipate how to handle difficult situations, to provide answers to questions and to stay one step ahead of the situation. Many PR professionals will spend a long time thinking about and analysing the problem when a more realistic approach would be to think about the solution. Approach each situation with a calm demeanor, take a breath, clear your head and allow everything to snap into place before you give your advice and recommendations on how to move forward.

5. Be aware of your physical presence

Are you a "yes" person? Do you find yourself apologising for everything? Stop right now. You need to present yourself with confidence and strength. If you make a mistake, apologise for it and explain the steps you will take to remedy the situation. If you have a different view to someone else, express it; you may give the other person a new perspective or help them to think about the situation in a different light. Be someone who makes their presence known, not in a pretentious or narcissistic manner but in a way that makes you look and feel like the professional you are. Think about your body language, your posture, the tone of your voice, what you wear, your overall physical appearance. Let others know that you mean business.

It's important in this industry that you reflect on where you've come from and challenge yourself about where you're heading. You need to think about the best way that you can move forward, but in this industry it's difficult to do that on your own. That's why it's important to build relationships with others including mentors, sponsors, friends and colleagues that you trust and who will become central to your success. The tips above have given you a way forward and the only question left to ask now is how are you going to make a difference in your next PR position?

Where do you want to go next?

> Download the 2016 - 2017 PR Salary Survey & Job Market Review here 

> Download our expert guide on getting the PR job you deserve

> Browse our latest PR jobs

> Contact our PR recruitment team for advice on your personal situation

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