With spring in full force, recent college graduates are just getting their toes wet in the overwhelmingly large pool known as the real world. Start dates are being set and brand new “work-appropriate” wardrobes are being purchased. It’s an exciting time – and one that can be equally as frightening for newcomers entering the fast-paced field of public relations.
So, if you’ve recently graduated with a job in PR (congrats!), or are in the process of making a job switch, here are 10 PR tips to navigating those new waters with ease:
- Do your research: So you’ve nailed the interview and received an offer, but your work shouldn’t stop there. Before you walk into the office on your first day, be sure you know a little about the company work environment. Is the office laid back? Do they encourage workday chatter? Make sure you know what is expected of you before you walk through those doors. We suggest planning out a route on your first day to guarantee you won’t show up late.
- Dress appropriately: This goes hand-in-hand with the first tip, but nothing is worse than showing up on your first day looking like a fool. Make sure you know the company dress code before showing up on your first day. If you aren’t sure what the standards are, aim for something business casual. It’s better to look over-dressed than like a slob.
- Agree to team lunches: Chances are you won’t remember everyone’s name your first day there, so tag along on team lunches and be chatty. Open up to your new co-workers and learn more about their day-to-day activities. This is a great time to learn more about your workload and your new teammates in a different setting. Ask them about their past PR experience or why they got into the field.
- Don’t be shy: Being a little reserved in your first few days at a new gig is fine, and almost expected but be sure you’re open to talking to everyone and sharing details about your life/past experiences. Remember, you were offered the position for a reason, make your personality known and don’t be afraid to respectfully show what you know.
- Don’t treat your first day like a happy hour: As a counterpoint to point number four, don’t share too much about your life outside of work right off the bat. You are there to work and help your clients/company excel, so don’t rub people the wrong way by spilling your weekend plans of bar-hopping right away. Feel your co-workers out and learn about the company environment first.
- Come prepared to learn: There’s nothing worse than a know-it-all, so don’t be the new employee who isn’t willing to take in new information. Chances are, you only know the basic information about your clients, so soak up as much as you can in those first few days. Take notes, ask questions and then ask a few more. Do extra research about the coverage your new clients expect and learn a few big media contacts you will be dealing with regularly.
- Keep a smile on your face: We’ve all been there, first days are scary! Even if you’re totally overwhelmed, keep smiling – it’s the quickest way to make a new friend and let your new co-workers know that you’re enjoying the time they’ve set aside to train you. In a job that revolves around communication, it’s vital that you come off as happy and eager.
- Try to stay off your gadgets: Though your phone is probably blowing up with “Good luck on your first day!” texts from friends and family, resist the urge to respond immediately. Your first days are designed to learn how you will be executing your new position – don’t give your new co-workers the wrong impression by texting all day long.
- Shake hands when you are being introduced: This common gesture may seem archaic, but it’s the best way to show respect to the executives in your company. Just like your smile, a sincere handshake is an easy way to say hello and let your respect for the person be known right away. The higher-ups are there to serve as a resource, so don’t be afraid to ask them questions.
- Don’t expect your new gig to be all glamour: Hopefully this goes without saying, but the world of media relations is no walk in the park. You will be expected to learn a lot and fast. Be prepared for a busy role that focuses on results – be prepared for high expectations. PR, while an awesome field to work, is a lot of hard work. Anticipate those long days and tough client demands; it’s bound to happen. On the flip side, take pride in your work. If you get a huge media hit in your first week – celebrate it!
Looking for more advice that will you make you a rock star at your new PR gig? Feel free to dive into even more of our PR Tips. If you’re interested in learning more about what the BLASTmedia team can do for your brand, get in touch with our own Lindsey Groepper.
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