How to start your career in public relations?


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This week, let’s explore a career in public relations

The past few years have seen a resurgence in public relations as a career and the need for sharp public relations consultants. Brands have realized that it’s earned media – public relations, that can make a difference now and protect it for the future.

Brands have also realized that Gen Z is the centerpiece of smart PR strategies – because they are the consumers and decision-makers of tomorrow, and because of their inherent ability to perceive and analyze the world around them differently. surrounded. It’s also why Gen Z can find a career in public relations very rewarding. This gives them the opportunity to tackle unique communication challenges and guide brands to act responsibly to work on issues that champion equality and sustainability.

So, if you’re a Gen Z, looking for your first PR job, here’s what you can do to make sure you start off strong:

1. Take vocational training

It’s the easiest and most reliable way to start your career in public relations. Look for the best public relations institutes and you will find many that offer specific courses in public relations and business communication. The best part about public relations is that it accepts graduates from any discipline, be it political science, math, or any other background.

After completing your undergraduate or postgraduate studies, you can enroll in postgraduate programs in public relations and corporate communication. Some institutes combine public relations with other related fields like advertising or mass communications. Do not prioritize these, since the field of PR is increasingly complex and unique, and favor specialized courses in PR.

2. Rate PR Internships

PR internships, especially those at some of India’s top PR firms, will give you the opportunity to observe the process by which PR consultants understand the needs of their clients and respond to them through public relations campaigns.

You will also have the chance to learn some fundamental skills that PR professionals need to learn. Keep in mind, however, that most public relations internships are only valuable if you do them. So try to take on as much responsibility as possible, focus on getting quick results, and network – meet people within the company where you are doing your internship.

3. Write. To write. To write.

Content is the cornerstone of public relations. Whether it’s a press release you write, a social media post, or a campaign slogan, you’re telling a story. Most often, this story is first told in written form. So practice writing. It doesn’t have to be PR-related writing, as long as you write regularly, with the goal of improving your writing styles.

One way to ensure continuous writing improvement is to publish your writing online, in the form of your personal blogs or LinkedIn articles. The more you do this, the more comfortable and confident you will be in creating content for various platforms and apps.

4. Read. Read and read some more

Public relations professionals are required to be constantly up to date with the latest happenings in the industry they are advising on. If there’s a threat to a brand’s reputation looming somewhere in the form of a disgruntled employee or an upset customer, you should be the first to know. If there’s an opportunity for the brand you’re advising to go viral, you need to be able to spot it. And that comes from reading – books and articles that enhance your knowledge of the industry you’re in or the PR profession in general, newspapers that will keep you up to date with what’s going on around you – this suggestion refers to all kinds of readings.

5. Understand influence

One of the greatest virtues of being digital natives is that it has allowed us all to be influencers in our own way. Whether we have a thousand Instagram followers or a YouTube channel watched by many, we have the ability to influence people. It is important to understand how influence works and how it spreads.

Public relations professionals are often tasked with recognising, identifying and convincing influential entities to champion a cause or brand. These entities can take the form of individual influencers, thought leaders, or organizations doing pioneering work in a field.

The key is to understand how to convince them to work with you and exert their influence in a smart way. The book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” is one of my all-time best recommendations for communications students at our institute and for public relations consultants in general. Read this to understand how influence works.

Also, if you want to start your PR career in India (and continue to thrive there), do not hesitate to contact senior PR professionals for advice and opportunities. India’s PR community is not only small and tight-knit, but also includes some incredibly helpful professionals. Look for them on LinkedIn and ask for help if you need it and they will help you.

— The author is Hemant Gaule, Dean of the School of Communications and Reputation (SCoRe).

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