PR Through The Eyes Of A Young Professional

Looking for a job in PR? Here’s where to start!

In Education, Internship, Jobs, Specialty, Young Professionals on April 6, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Continuing with our guest blogger series, we have recruited another up and coming PR professional that is making some real progress in the field – Sophia Alfred…

Graduated? Have Experience? Looking for a Job in PR? Where to Start!

You may have a Bachelors, a Masters, or maybe just straight experience. In school you may have learned the fundamentals  public relations or you may have learned how to write a research paper. But I don’t remember a single time where I was taught how to look for a job! It has been drilled in us as PR professionals to network, network, and network so more! While that is probably one of the best ways to find a job- it can’t possibly be the only way, right? What if you don’t have connections in the specialty you want to explore? Or there are no openings… anywhere? What do you do, where do you start?

START HERE

Although you do not need a degree in public relations to practice, a journalism, marketing, or communications degree is usually an acceptable alternative. Nevertheless, some type of degree would be in your best interest, now that a bachelor’s degree is becoming the new high school diploma.  Further education only makes you more marketable in a very competitive industry.

Finding a job to apply for may be the hardest part of getting a job in PR, but its only half the battle. Some places to look may be your school’s job board (if you still have access), Craigslist, Idealist, Ned’s Job of the Week, Entertainment Jobs, LinkedIn, Facebook, PRWeek Jobs (US), Monster, and America’s Job Bank.

Don’t know which firms are best to work for? Check out TheHolmesReport, which offers news and intelligence for PR professionals. Here is a list of their best agencies to work for. Sometimes it is best to apply on the agencies website because they tend to update their own website before posting the position elsewhere.

Don’t forget to check out industry publications, magazines, and other websites to get some leads and possible career opportunities.

You’ve Found What You Want…Now What???

  • Apply! Apply! Apply! Jobs aren’t given to you. You need to seek them, apply for them, and land them at the interview. However, before you can even get that far your resume and cover letter needs to speak for you.
  • Reach Out: But to whom? – Is it HR, the PR department, or the CEO? Figure it out so you can address your cover letter and other correspondence appropriately. This may require extra digging but it will show preparation and real interest in the company/firm and the position. If you don’t seem interested, there is no reason for the firm to even consider hiring you; why would they want to? They want someone who is passionate about the company and what the company is doing.
  • Be specific: If there is a job description, tailor your resume and cover letter accordingly. If the job description asks for attention to detail, excellent communication skills, and computer skills, by all means say that you have exactly these things! (Just as long as you have these qualities, of course.:-) ) List them as reasons why you would be a good fit for the firm, and what you could bring to the firm. Action words are key.
  • Writing Samples:The person interviewing may also want some writing samples or examples of any PR work you may have done in the past. Do not supply them unless asked for; you can mention you have examples in your cover letter, but there is no need to inundate the hiring person with more to read when they may not even read your entire resume.

If you start off right, you may land yourself a position you love, or maybe one that just leads to another. Either way, being prepared makes it easier to accomplish your goals.

“Good luck is a lazy man’s estimate of a worker’s success.”

– Author Unknown

Sophia Alfred recently received her Masters in Public Relations/Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. She also obtained a dual Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in Public & Community Health and Kinesiological Sciences.

Sophia has gained communications experience working for Edelman, zcomm, and Spectrum Science Communications.  She has also had a great deal of experiential event marketing experience working for campaigns such as Nothin But Nets. She earned her non-profit experience from working with AARP in their Media Relations department, and with the Center for Young Children. Sophia has also worked in sports and entertainment PR with Jam Sports and Entertainment as a Publicity Intern. Sophia has experience seeking out to NFL players and celebrities to solicit their involvement in the very popular Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XI charity basketball event. Currently Sophia is doing a combination of marketing and event planning with Sport & Spine Rehab to help generate new patients. If you would like to connect with Sophia, contact her via email at salfred07@yahoo.com

Sophia Alfred recently received her Masters in Public Relations/Corporate Communications from Georgetown University. She also obtained a dual Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in Public & Community Health and Kinesiological Sciences.Sophia has gained communications experience working for Edelman, zcomm, and Spectrum Science Communications.  She has also had a great deal of experiential event marketing experience working for campaigns such as Nothin But Nets. She earned her non-profit experience from working with AARP in their Media Relations department. Through the Center for Young Children Sophia did extensive research, community outreach, event planning and management along with marketing.  She has also worked with Jam Sports and Entertainment as a Publicity Intern where she assisted with event production along with all of the media outreach. Sophia has experience seeking out to NFL players and celebrities to solicit their involvement in the very popular Gridiron Celebrity Hoops XI charity basketball event. She also assisted in the publicity of the celebrities, NFL players, and the event itself through promotions, radio interviews, television, newspapers and online media. Currently Sophia doing a combination of marketing and event planning with Sport & Spine Rehab to help generate new patients. If you would like to connect with Sophia, contact her via email at salfred07@yahoo.com
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