A few weeks ago, I announced the new series on my blog focusing on PR and my career in the field. I asked my followers on Instagram what questions they had about the industry, about my experience in PR, or anything about PR and received a bunch of really good questions. I'm breaking this down into two parts, so check it out below to see if I answered your question!
What inspired you to get into PR?
My mum originally inspired me to get into the industry! She used to work at Saks in their corporate offices, and as I was growing up she would tell me all of her stories working with the PR department and the cool work they did for Saks, and I fell in love almost immediately. Once I actually had an internship in PR I knew I was in the right position.
What is your 5-year goal? What would be your ideal position?
My ideal position would be running my own boutique PR agency for fashion and beauty brands. I love my experience working with smaller teams, and would love to one start my own.
In 5 years I’ll be 28, so I think by then I’d love to be a PR Manager/Director at that point for a specific brand – fashion or beauty preferred. I’d love to really have more creative control with the brand I work for in terms of PR tactics, and would love to help build a brand's PR focusing more on the new media (influencers, social media, etc.)
Would you say completing your Masters degree gives you an advantage when it comes to job opportunities?
Yes and no. From a purely materialistic standpoint, I think it gives me an advantage when it comes to salary. You’re definitely more educated, and more qualified, therefore deserve a higher pay rate, but during my job search I didn’t feel like it made me standout that much more than other applicants. Maybe I got the interview because they liked that I was in grad school and working towards getting my Masters in PR, but it didn’t feel like that interest was reflected in my interviewing process.
Where did you get your masters degree? Was it beneficial?
I got my Masters degree at Rutgers University! I went there for undergrad and was in their School of Communication. In their communication school, they offer an accelerated program where you get your Bachelors and Masters in 5 years instead of 6 years. I think in terms of getting a Masters degree it was a great way (and cheaper way) to pursue grad school. And the professors I worked with were amazing giving advice and talking about their experience in PR.
In terms of what I learned, I definitely think it benefitted me in learning more about the communication and PR field. I learned about CSR, organizational communication, persuasion in communication, and most importantly I learned how to create a portfolio and how to make myself attractive to potential employers. The classes that focused on CSR, and organization communication, and other aspects that weren't directly related to PR were really helpful, because looking back on it you realize that these aspects of communication are so present in the workplace and can dictate what your job is like. It definitely opened my eyes to different forms of communication and learning the best way to communicate for whatever the situation.
What are some of the tasks you do in PR?
On a daily basis, my tasks usually include:
Monitoring the media: monitoring placements for my clients as well as competitor news
Building media lists for pitches
Drafting pitches, whether proactive or for a campaign
Running influencer campaigns: sourcing influencers, drafting the materials, shipping product, and executing the campaign
Media audits to keep pulse on media and influencer sentiment
Brainstorming client campaigns
Any tips for getting an internship when I have no work experience?
I got my first internship the summer after my freshman year of college with my only work experience being the country club I used to be a server at. My advice is to include any work experience, volunteer experience, and courses you’ve taken on your resume. Whatever the industry I think there’s a way to tailor your whatever your form of experience for the role you’re going for.
For example, a volunteer experience I had was volunteering at a local library during their summer reading program, and I included that on my resume noting my work experience planning and putting together the different programs, and lending administrative support to my supervisor. There’s always a way to tailor your experience to the role you want.
I also want to say that especially if it’s your freshman or sophomore year of college, most internships aren’t expecting you to have experience. They want to see what courses you’ve taken and what you can do for company you’re applying to. I found personality and eagerness to learn more about the industry that I was interviewing in was beneficial.
Tips for getting an interview during the pandemic? What to do when you feel like no one is hiring?
I’m lucky enough that I was on the job search summer 2019, so I didn’t have to deal with the pandemic, however if I were in your shoes I would recommend a few things:
Network with people in the industry: connect with them on LinkedIn, ask to learn more about their position, and experience at their company
In addition, it helps to get your foot in the door at the company to befriend someone there and have them pass along your resume, once a good connection is made!
Take online courses: if feasible, invest your time in taking additional courses that can help fine tune your skills
Apply for internships: a lot of companies are offering remote internships, which is great way to get experience and keep yourself going as you keep applying for jobs. A lot of places typically hire their interns too, so once they bounce back from the pandemic you’ll definitely have the upper hand!
Don’t get discouraged: it took me six months – 2 months during college, and 4 months post-grad to secure a full-time position. Don’t compare yourself to others in the industry or other industries. Everyone is on their own path, and trust me the perfect job will be there when you’re ready. Looking back on my summer I am actually so happy I had a break between college and working full-time, so enjoy the peace.
Part 2 in your questions will be coming soon! In the mean time, if you have any more questions, or what me to go more in-depth on anything leave them in comments below or DM me on Instagram!