Immersing yourself in public relations can come as a shock. When in classes, we have ideas thrown at us left and right. We examine past PR cases; observe what went wrong and praise what went right; and study, highlight and compile lists of what you would have done if you were in the PR practioner’s shoes. All this practice that we are doing now is preparing us for success in the future.
Thanks to an informational interview with Lee Weinstein, owner of Weinstein PR in Portland, Ore., here is a list of what I felt he conveyed as some of the most important things a student could know when trying to start a career in public relations.
Learn to write.
“Writing well is the most important skill anyone in PR could have. It helps develop great stories. It helps strategize,” says Lee Weinstein. Writing is something we practice over and over in school, and it’s for a reason. Being able to not only write well but also write in correct grammar and format is something that is going to save you down the line.
Always be ready to handle anything.
There is no “typical day” in public relations. You never know what is going to happen because you can’t control how people are going to react to situations. This is why doing your research and preparing yourself and your team for any obstacle is necessary.
Learn early how to time manage.
A working day in public relations can last 24 hours, but those 24 hours will seem a lot shorter when you have 50 things on your plate. You have to manage clients, bosses, otheremployees and whatever projects you are working on at the moment, so learn how to juggle multiple things at once on a time limit.
“The most challenging part about [public relations] is not having enough time and taking on too much work,” says Lee Weinstein.
Love what you do.
This is going to be your career – what you are going to be doing for the rest of your life. If you wake up one day and look in the mirror and you aren’t happy, then make some changes. This can mean anything from taking on different projects to switching from a nonprofit to an agency, to even a completely different path. But whatever you are going to be doing, make sure you love it.
Having a successful career is something everyone strives for, so remembering some tips from the pros should help along the way.
Special thanks to Lee Weinstein.