|How to have a successful public relations career|
by Nevasha Naidoo CPRP
A career in public relations is immensely rewarding and it offers many opportunities to those who are willing to work hard and put in the effort to perfect their craft. Unlike many careers, there are not many limitations standing in the path of success. However, there are certain personal and professional qualities that will set you apart from the rest. In this article, I will lay out the professional components that I believe will put you on the fast track in the demanding world of public relations.
Attitude and personality are the tools of our trade. Public relations – as the name implies - is about people. Dealing with clients, media professionals and high-profile people are part of the job. You'll find that the best public relations professionals are able to charm their way out of a straitjacket. You should arm yourself with strong interpersonal skills, lots of confidence and a suitably thick skin. Above all – believe in yourself.
Contrary to popular belief, public relations encompass a lot more than the glitz and glamour of event management. This is one admittedly enjoyable facet of the job, but behind it all is a lot of serious business and communication strategy. You need the ability to think strategically and ensure that all communication works toward the agreed-upon deliverables and fits with the character of the brand. Strong communication and writing ability is an indispensible part of the public relations professional's skill-set.
Identify your niche
Public relations is a broad industry. Find what interests you and make it your specialty. People pay experts more than those who know a little about everything.
Have an opinion
Stay on top of news and current trends and think critically about your industry. Have the courage to stand up in public and make your views known. It demonstrates your intellectual ability and positions you as an industry thought leader. Remember that you are a brand. Be conscious of how you position yourself both internally and externally in the public relations arena.
Participate and always be willing to learn
Even the most successful businesspeople in the world know that if you're not moving forward, you're going backward. So be a sponge. Soak up as much information and knowledge from those around you. New knowledge almost always creates new opportunities.
Every young graduate is naturally keen to enter the business world and start earning top "dollars". I would caution you to be realistic about a starting salary at the outset and make the effort to earn your stripes. Experience is highly prized in the business world.
As in any career, passion determines performance. You've got to really love what you do. Passion inspires us to achieve success upon success. Be honest about it. If you don't love the industry, you'll never be happy.
Work on making good impressions
Reputation is everything in public relations and "word of mouth" is a key business driver. Consider carefully before doing anything to affect your credibility. Make integrity central to your work ethic. PRISA outlines the public relations industry ethics and values on their website. Make sure you know and understand how to conduct business in a way that reflects positively on yourself and the industry as a whole.
by Nevasha Naidoo CPRP from Platinum Public Relations