18 February was my one-year anniversary at my current agency Brandzeichen. This was an important milestone for me to look back and think about what I've done, learned, experienced and achieved during that year at one of the fastest growing brand communications agencies in Germany. It's also a great cornerstone to relate those experiences to my passion for PR and social media and to why exactly I am pursuing a career in the industry.
As I've said before, it seems that quite a few of my readers find my blog by googling "why work in PR".
What is it really to work in PR?
I tell you, it is difficult to explain... It's challenging, it's exciting, it's fast moving, it's dynamic, it's always changing - yes, yes, I've already explained that in my previous "why do I want to work in PR" editions here and here.
The reasons I've listed in those two posts are still relevant today, but because I do not want to repeat myself and because I want to reflect this post more to what I've learned over the past year, here are the '2014' reasons why I want to work in PR and in social media in particular (my current job role is a Social Media Account Manager after all):
7 Reasons Why I Want to Work in PR:
I love doing research
Many of the day-to-day activities of PRs include research. Maybe not necessarily in the form of traditional research that includes searching and reading various sources, but simply by listening to what followers and influencers are saying or reading the latest article of that journalists you so want to pitch. Information is key in PR because sufficient and timely information allows better decision-making. Researching also keeps you up-to-date. This is why you need to research a lot in PR - you need to know your client and products and markets, your audiences including journalists, bloggers, vloggers, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram followers and influencers, business and economic conditions, trends and new tools. My love for research is closely linked to my love for learning and consistently acquiring new knowledge and skills. I admit: I just get bored quickly, I constantly need new things. I've completed some serious research projects myself too. My two BA dissertations have now both been published as print books (see here and here) - an achievement I am very proud of and I still can't believe it really happened.
I love creating
You know, PR is all about writing. But in today's era of social consumerism, it's not just newspapers and magazines that people get information from. We now use multiple sources, including various web, social and mobile applications. PR pros are therefore required to make the content available where their audiences are active. This way PR becomes not just about writing, but about creating and putting PR work in the form of visuals, infographics, videos, podcasts, Vines etc. I personally love creating visuals just as much as I love blogging or writing. For example, I have so far created three infographics (see here, here and here). But I also like creating other types of content - just check out how active I am all over the web: I tweet, I facebook, I instagram, I blog, I pin, I google+, I tumblr, I vine etc. Another thing I am required to do at work is presentations. I really do enjoy preparing the slides and putting things into perspective so that they make sense and get the viewer on an interesting journey. That's visual storytelling. And visual storytelling is now more relevant than ever for PR pros (here's a brand new book I am getting on my Kindle, if you're interested in learning more).
I love developing and executing entire projects
If you're lucky enough to work for clients that really excite you, you'll love working on campaigns and initiatives for them just as much as I do. I love the strategic and the planning process, the creative part too, but I also love the execution because then you get to see the tiniest details that make up the end result. And if the result is great, it's just so satisfying! Working on something from start to finish is a terrific learning process.
I love seeing the results of my work
Just as mentioned in the previous point, seeing the positive results of your own hard work is simply amazing! It gets you more motivated and more driven to excel. And I must say, the more work I have and the more challenging it is, the more motivated I get to do it well, quickly and go back for more. Another thing outside of the office: I love seeing my blog posts read and published, liked and shared on other online blogs, magazines or social networks. This makes me feel that my writing matters, that my work is haking an impact. Or my BA dissertations! I had never thought that they would get published as actual books!
I love influencing behaviour
In my previous blog post I explained how important persuasion is for PR work. As just said, I love seeing the results of my efforts and how my work impacts the life or actions of others, for example by offering them a solution to their problem, even if that problem is small or rather commercial, but still - my words, my work, my visuals, my advice, my suggestions etc. have offered a solution to that problem or have guided people to another direction. It's great to be able to help and it's great when your voice matters.
I love social media
Well, here I am repeating myself, but what can I do? Social media is absolutely my biggest passion and is the thing I love most about working in PR and communications. I think I am addicted to social media - and not so much to the channels, but about learning and experimenting how to use them for business and communications purposes. Take this blog for example: It's a learning process for me. I write and share with you not only the things I find interesting, but everything I've been learning along the way of becoming a PR and social media professional. I talk about insights and various research findings as well as my learnings and my experience what works and what doesn't. It really is a great feeling to share that knowledge with the world. (And I hope you enjoy reading about it.)
I love the pace
Everyone in PR will tell you, PR is always changing, always moving. In day-to-day business there are always last minute things that come out of nowhere and need to be done right away. Yes, it can be really unnerving because it messes up your carefully made to-do list, but at the end of the day you've done so much and you hadn't even noticed how the time has passed by. Suddenly, it's 6 pm and being now able to take a breath, you make a mental road trip back to what has happened during the day and you end up being amazed at the many things you've accomplished and the impact you've made. Don't get me wrong though, it can be quite stressful at times - according to CareerCast PR is the sixth most stressful job in 2014 after military people, firefighters and airline pilots! But that's why it's so exciting!
If my 'scribbles' didn't convince you of my love for PR, just have a look at the photo at the beginning - isn't that a big, happy smile? (Well, yeah, that was my birthday, but still at the office :P)
PR pros, what do you love most about PR?
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