Four tips for a public relations student to remember in 2020 and beyond

Between classes, work and student organizations, the start of a new year can quickly already feel old. That’s why it’s important to remind ourselves what matters, inside and outside the classroom.

 

Here’s a guide for the top four tips a public relations student needs to keep in mind in the new year.

  1. Follow the news

The first tip is the crux of our field: the news. Studying PR, we have to understand who’s making it, where it’s coming from and who’s writing it. Knowing more about those three things can keep us sharp in any industry setting. 

One easy way to stay in the know is subscribing to an email newsletter. Billy Penn’s has the perfect curation of original and outside content on all things Philly. For national coverage, listen to the New York Times’ podcast, The Daily. It’s a summary of the day’s top stories, queued up and ready for your walk to class. 

For politics, try Politico to give you in-depth coverage of the White House, Congress and the 2020 election.

2. Go to office hours

A major part of PR is the ability to network and college is the best place to start. All of our professors are teaching because they have serious skills and experience to offer. Now is the perfect time to find one who matches your interests and pay them a visit during office hours. 

Whether you’re interested in agency, non-profit or corporate PR work, at least one of your professors should have prior experience in each of those areas. Take some time to sit down with them, learn about their career and ask questions. Even if you don’t have any career questions, going to office hours is the chance to get extra help on confusing assignments.

3. Gain the experience

Now that you’re in the know and your network is growing, it’s time to expand your resume. 

While you might be hesitant to try your first internship off-campus with a full course load, there are many opportunities to grow your resume on-campus. First, consider joining a PR-related club or holding a PR position on an organization’s e-board. This is a real experience that can parlay into an internship.

When your ready to head off campus, activate your network. Talk with your peers and professors about where the best places to apply might be. Use LinkedIn to network with alumni who might already be working at a place you want to intern.

4. Take time for yourself

This last one is the most important. While working hard certainly pays off, it’s important to take time for yourself, even if it’s just a little bit every day. This will help you stay refreshed and ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges. 

Find a book or watch a series on Netflix, or take a nap then see friends relax from a long day. Working in PR promises long hours and the experience as a student isn’t much different. Knowing when you need to recharge makes you a better person, student, and employee.

While tackling 2020 head-on, keep these simple four tips in mind. And don’t be too hard on yourself if you have an off day. Remember, we’re all learning and growing every day, and will be long after we graduate.

-Will Bleier

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