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President’s Point: The PR Path

Spring is officially in full swing, which means that in just a few weeks, newly-minted graduates will begin their journeys into the working world. For those who will take their first steps along the PR path, I’d like to share a few things to take into consideration that will help you make a strong entrance into the field.

Take advantage of the opportunity

Whether you land an in-house or an agency role, there are specific opportunities each path provides that are important for growing your experience as a PR professional. The agency path, for example, allows the chance to learn a vast amount about working in PR, as you will gain exposure to many different responsibilities, coworkers and clients. For aspiring PR professionals who want to work across multiple industries, figure out which ones you are interested in most and dig into clients of various sizes, the fast-paced agency life will help do the trick!

An in-house role, in comparison, lets you focus on just one client – your company – and dive deeper into bigger initiatives. While you can find similar opportunities in an agency setting, an in-house position can also equip you to specialize in areas such as internal communications, media relations, crisis communications and more. But, no matter how you decide to embark on your PR journey, take advantage of the exposure and experience that each opportunity provides.

Don’t be afraid to explore your specific interests

Working as a PR professional doesn’t mean you have to be a jack-of-all-trades. While working generally across multiple roles can offer a more diversified career, there are many pros to pursuing a particular area of interest in PR to grow your expertise. This can include disciplines such as social media, content marketing, analytics, reputation management… the list goes on. Specializing in one area can also help you be more marketable down the road when pursuing roles based on an organization’s specific needs.

Take steps every day to learn something new

In the ever-changing world of PR, it’s important to stay on top of the trends both in the news and within the industry. Even when you’ve found your footing on the PR path, you’ll know that there is no end to the industry knowledge you can obtain. Read a book, attend a conference, offer to assist in a project outside your department – always be thinking about ways you can refine your skills, expose yourself to new opportunities and grow as a professional.

Good luck out there, graduates!

Jamie Izaks is the president of All Points Public Relations, a franchise-focused PR agency based in the Chicagoland area, www.allpointspr.com.

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