When I think back to when I was six years old and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I never uttered the words public relations. A– because I was only six and had no idea what public relations was and B– I was too busy idolizing Mia Hamm and told everyone that I wanted to be a professional soccer player when I grew up.
I started working at Franco Public Relations Group as an intern and have graduated to an assistant account executive and recently hit the six month mark. Now that I’m here, I couldn’t imagine working in any other profession (especially the professional sports world!).
I work on a wide array of client accounts in many different industries like the automotive, banking and beer industry. Some of these include major events like the North American International Auto Show and restaurant grand openings like Punch Bowl Social in Detroit.
It’s been an amazing six months in my career packed with different experiences and projects that have helped mold me as a public relations professional. Here are the top five things I’ve learned so far:
- There are no typical days – I always thought “What does a typical day look like for you?” was the perfect interview question to ask. But now that I work in public relations, I’ve realized there are no typical days. Sure you may do some of the same activities everyday like reading the headlines on the major media outlets in your area or looking for trending topics on social media. On other days you might attend a client TV segment, assist with a grand opening, or write a press release. Every day is different and it’s important to be flexible.
- PR Pros Wear A Lot of Hats – In public relations, I’ve learned that PR pros wear a lot of hats. There are many aspects of public relations that go far beyond writing. Writing is important to properly communicate your clients’ message, but there are many pieces to a successful public relations campaign. It’s important to learn and apply them appropriately. Event planning, media relations, advertising or social media – there’s a lot that can be used to help enhance a communications plan and it all depends on the needs of the client.
- Do Your Homework – When you’re working with the media make sure you’ve done your homework. It’s extremely important to know the media you’re pitching to and know a little bit about them. Who works where, what do they write about, what have they written about in the past? These are all important questions to ask yourself before you approach media outlets about client news. Providing journalists with the most relevant information for them will not only reinforce your relationships but ensure client news is getting to the right person.
- The Importance of Networking – The word networking was drilled into my brain by college professors. They continued to tell us how important it is to connect with people and build relationships. I never truly realized how important this was until now. Connecting with people and growing your professional relationships help you to stand out and be remembered. So have your business card handy and make your presence is known because chances are you will work with that person again in the future.
- Ask Questions, Seek Advice – The biggest learning I’ve had during my first six months is how important it is to ask questions and seek advice. Each day I come to work I’m surrounded by public relations professionals that all bring such a diverse background to our firm. Each of them has started in the same position I have and no matter what I’m assigned or what I’m struggling with, chances are they have faced them too. It’s important to ask questions and seek help if you need it because in the end you’re all in it for the good of the organization. Their guidance is essential for helping not only the client but you grow as a public relations professional.
I’m curious to what you’ve learned during your first few months as an assistant account executive. Share them with me in the comment section below.
Lauren Connor is anAccount Supervisor at Franco.