PRo Night 2012
PRo Night 2012
Attending my first, official PR networking event last night was one giant learning experience. First off, I should have attended one of these things far earlier than the end of my junior year of college. These professionals have so much to offer, whether that’s advice or networking experiences or an encouraging word. These people were in our shoes, some of them just a year or two earlier, and they want us to succeed just as much as we do. So after finishing some incredible spicy chicken pizza from D’amico and Sons, we had seven minute mixers with a handful of PR professionals. Here’s the feedback that stuck with me most from the night:
1) Network, Network, Network. This field is about communicating with others and showing how well you can maintain relationships, so it’s no surprise that the best way to get your foot in the door for an internship or job is through networking. Stay in contact with people you meet and cultivate a two way relationship with them.
2) Write, write, write. If you’re not working on relationships in this field, you’re writing. So write, all the time, every chance you get. Showcase your writing skills in class, at work, and in your personal life. It doesn’t have to be PR related either (this was a relief to me). Write about what you know.
3) Timing can be everything. This was a bit discouraging and enlightening all at once. Just because the summer internship I was crossing my fingers for didn’t come through last week doesn’t mean something else won’t fall into my lap the next. Don’t be disappointed or give up. Things do indeed happen for a reason.
4) Any job/internship/opportunity is what you make of it. One of the PR professionals told us about her summer internship at a tiny food packaging company in suburb of the twin cities. They were using traditional PR, and had not even attempted to dabble in Web 2.0. She took the opportunity to develop a PR strategy and blog for the company, an experience she was able to showcase to future employers to get even better positions.
5) PR isn’t fluffy. I can’t think of any other way to state this last piece of advice. Having never really interacted with PR professionals, I was still a little unsure what the persona I may have to obtain to work in this field. But there were none. These professionals were themselves, each with their own personality and passion and obviously working for companies they believed in.
When all was said and done, I was inspired to start a list of things I wanted to improve on to gain an edge in this field. It just so happens that blogging more consistently was number one. I’ll leave you with my quote for the day,
“There are no failures – just experiences and your reactions to them.” – Tom Krause
Until next time!