It’s my third week at CPR, and already I’ve learned valuable information about succeeding in the field of public relations. Of course, I still have a lot more to learn, but I thought I’d share some tips for recent grads who are beginning their careers, particularly at agencies. Here are a few suggestions to help make your transition from studying public relations to practicing it go smoothly:
- Learn the right time to pitch reporters and outlets.
Timing can make or break your pitch. Typically, you’ll want to avoid pitching on Fridays and early on Monday mornings. You will also want to consider pitching mornings instead of afternoons – by that point, a reporter may be working close to their deadline and will be less inclined to read your pitch. It’s all about understanding timing and accommodating reporters.
- Don’t blindly pitch a reporter; do your research.
Sometimes, you’re going to have to send out a lot of pitches, so it might be hard to do in-depth research on individual reporters. However, if you can read up on a reporter’s past work, this can benefit you as you’re beginning to send out pitches. Maybe they’ve written about your client in the past. Maybe they’ve written about the client’s industry. You never know until you research! Plus, when you show that you’ve done research on the reporter, it demonstrates that you care about their work and that you’re sending a pitch that is relevant to their beat.
- Keep an AP Stylebook at your desk.
It’s helpful to have that book nearby when it comes time to write a press release that’s due at the end of the day. You’ll want to keep up-to-date on AP style in order to make reporters’ lives easier and show that you know what you’re doing.
- Get ready to learn about a variety of industries.
CPR works with clients in different industries, from marine to healthcare and more. Getting to learn about different industries is fun, and it definitely keeps you on your toes. You’ll learn how to “switch” your brain from one point of focus to another throughout the day.
- Be proactive, responsive and reliable.
Being proactive means following up with reporters when you don’t hear back. Being responsive means being prepared to answer questions at any given moment. Being reliable means serving as a trustworthy source with accurate information. Not only do these characteristics apply to working with reporters, but they should apply to working with others at your agency, as well. Always reach out if you have questions. Stay on top of your work so that you can clearly explain your progress on different projects.
I can’t wait to learn more about this field as I continue my work at CPR. Hey, while you’re here, why not check out some of our other blog posts to learn more about our firm, our work, and other helpful information?