PR is becoming a very competitive industry. The chase for talent is tremendous.
Being successful at university guarantees you a good degree, which is the first thing you need to be considered for a PR job.
Bear in mind that many PR agencies have started looking for talent with diverse backgrounds, so not necessarily people with PR degrees, but from more specialist areas such as finance or even healthcare.
For example, I didn’t study PR. I hold a degree in International Business, but I still pursued a career in PR – and I got it. It wasn’t easy, but I laid the ground while at university. That’s where success starts.
Based on my experiences, I would like to pass on my advice to you how to excel as a PR student and help you set the basis for a successful career in public relations.
Following are the nine things you should do to be a great PR student in addition to studying the materials and passing the exams.
How to Excel as a PR Student – 9 Things to Do:
- Follow blogs in the areas of PR, comms, social media and inbound marketing (check out my selection here) to extend your knowledge.
- Read industry-related as well as business books (see some of my recommendations at the bottom) to learn more about the practice and the business side to be able to see the bigger picture.
- Make sure you stay up-to-date by reading industry newspapers and magazines such as PR Week.
- Blog! It’s a tremendous opportunity to develop your writing skills. If you can’t commit to a personal blog, then guest blog – Behind the Spin is just the right place.
- Build your social media presence, but don’t just tweet random stuff, be professional and show your knowledge.
- Get relevant work experience – do a PR internship for example.
- Write a dissertation about PR. Performing such serious research not only teaches you a lot, but can also help you to make a name for yourself if your findings add value to the industry.
- Become a member of the CIPR (or any other industry body if you’re not based in the UK).
- Get some international experience such as a semester abroad with ERASMUS. It’ll open up eyes to how vital communication is wherever you’re in the world
Is there anything else you would like to add?
To help you tick point No. 2 off, here’s my personal recommendation of PR and business books that I have read and that have helped me during university and in my career. Download the free book recommendations guide by clicking on this image: