Diary of a PR professional: insights for pre-grads

Rebecca Foote, PRINZ Communications Advisor – Membership

Last week PRINZ student members met with industry professionals to find out what a career in public relations is all about. In small groups, the students moved from speaker to speaker, hearing about a day in the life of a PR professional and asking the all-important questions.

With a range of speakers including Frederika Walls and Kristie Penwarden from PPR NZ, Charmaine Ngarimu from ATEED, Belinda Nash from Socialize Group and Phil Johnstone from Auckland Museum, the students were treated to a diverse range of experience and knowledge.

Of course, a lot of conversation was about how to secure a great first job. It was recommended that students complete an internship or gain some experience while studying to build networks and have referees for the future. Recruiters are also using LinkedIn more often. So make sure your summary and content are written so you are popping up in their search results. As with all writing, ensure your CV and cover letter is free of spelling mistakes. In the interview, ask questions and finish an interview in a memorable way.

Top questions and answers from the night, including those that weren’t asked (but should have been), are below.

Top questions:

  1. How do you manage a work-life balance?

In their early years, new grads should be available, get involved, and make the most of all opportunities to learn. In many jobs, here are weekend promotions and events, some late nights and early mornings. A work-life balance is important, but PR is not a 9-5 industry so be flexible.

  1. What is content marketing?

Content marketing is when companies generate content that PR can use to engage the public. For example, an outdoor brand communicating tips for packing or a bank talking about saving money on power bills. http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/getting-started/

  1. What do you think about brands on Tumblr?

It is tricky for brands to be on Tumblr. Tumblr comes from a personal place, so brands may not seem authentic on this platform.

  1. How do PR agencies get clients/business?

PR agencies get business through winning awards, referrals, pitching to clients, and growing their business with existing clients.

Questions that could have been asked:

  1. What’s your approach to ethics?

Being an ethical practitioner is important for all PR/CM professionals. Read the PRINZ Code of Ethics for more information.

  1. How do I find the right job?

Knowing who you are and what makes you tick is important for getting the right fit for your first job.

Good luck to all our student members who are completing their final assignments and exams over the next month. Keep in touch!

If you are looking for an excellent graduate to join your team, get in touch with Rebecca to advertise your position with PRINZ.

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