“My number one tip is one that someone at my company taught me when I was an intern: When you think you are just about wrapped up with a project – a report, memo, presentation, anything – ask yourself “Is this my best work?” If it’s not, get back to it and make sure it is something you can be proud of. Number two: Be willing to work out of your comfort zone, even if it means failing – you will learn from that experience. And number three: Don’t check your cell phone during meetings – pay attention to your colleagues!”
If you were a college student again, what would you do differently to prepare for your job?
“I would have taken more writing courses. This isn’t unique to public relations – but being a good writer is incredibly important for working in communications. And even good writers benefit from practice. I’d encourage students to step out of their comfort zone – maybe take a creative writing course – to get a sense of how far you can confidently take your writing.”
What’s the single most important skill you need to excel in public relations?
“In my experience, you have to be willing to learn. The beauty of working in public relations is the constant opportunity to become a mini-expert on an issue. Dive into the latest research, set up Google alerts and see what others in the same space are doing.”
Who influenced you to start/work in public relations?
“I was fortunate enough to have a “Media Literacy” course offered at my high school. We learned about advertising and marketing, communication theory, and more. I still have my binder from that class – and even used some of the readings in my Master’s thesis!”
How has PR changed since you entered the field?
“Twitter didn’t exist when I started working! There is so much more data available today than ever before. And that will continue to be the case. PR is a never-ending learning experience.”