Energetic, full of questions, quick to learn and a team-player was how we described Eric Johnson in his first week. Originally he joined as an intern, and he impressed our team so much he was quickly hired. Already landing hits and driving conversations, we asked the newest Schwartz Media team member to share tips for all millennials looking to start careers in public relations.
I have been in the public relations industry for almost three years and its reputation of being one of the most difficult jobs to work in should not be underestimated. The growing PR industry is in need for professionals who want to jump in and work hard and I believe millennials are the generation best equipped to handle the pressure of this ever-changing work environment.
Here are five tips for millennials starting a PR career:
Use your youth to your advantage
Often I hear recent graduates lacking confidence when looking for jobs because they feel they’re “too young” or “too inexperienced.” While public relations is a field where experience is key, millennials can use their age to their advantage. We are the most tech savvy, have the strongest social media presence, and are quick adaptors. These are all keys to success within the world of public relations. A hiring manager will value your ability to see things outside the box and your willingness to approach strategy in a way that hasn’t been done before.
Be willing to take initiative
Once you land the job, don’t be timid with pitching ideas or letting your opinions be known; it will add value to you and your position within the firm. Your ideas won’t always be the best in the room, but you will show a willingness to be a team player and contribute to the firm. Rather than sit in the background and allow others to determine action, jump right in.
Get to know the people you work with
This is advice that for me has had limitless value. Take the time to get to know those around you.Find out where your co-workers came from, how they ended up working in PR, their past employment and education history and even what their favorite food is! PR execs tend to have very colorful and diverse pasts, with no two backgrounds the same. You’ll quickly see this business is about relationships and there’s no better place to start than getting to know your colleagues.
Make an effort to learn from those around you
Make no mistake that you’re the rookie. While you may have had past internships and entry-level positions, you still have a lot to learn. Pick up some of the good habits and routines of your coworkers and be receptive of advice that may come your way.
Develop a thick skin
While PR isn’t without its successes, there is definitely an abundance of rejection in the industry. Don’t take things personally. Being able to pick up and move on is key to survival in the public relations field. Instead, use it to fuel your tenacity and try a different approach.