Over fall break, the Simpson College PRSSA team traveled east to Indianapolis for four jammed packed days of learning, networking and inspiration at the PRSSA National Conference which is held every year.
Upon return, speaking to each of the six PRSSA members who attended the conference you sense the amount of enthusiasm, information they retained and inspiration they’ve gathered from speakers and most importantly, from each other.
Read the five different lessons these aspiring PR pros learned by attending the national conference.
Lesson 1: If you want a 9-5 job, PR isn’t for you. Public Relations isn’t an easy or glamorous job. Any public relations professional will tell you this in a heart beat. It’s a lot of late nights in the office researching so you’re able to effectively implement a successful campaign.
However, it’s important to know you can find flexibility in your job depending on the path you want to take — corporate or agency. Corporate offers you more structure and set hours. You’re working on one client which is the company you’re essentially working for.
Agency life posses more flexibility in your hours—considering you might be working more hours due to the multiple client accounts you’ll have. It’s important you research both of these career paths because you want to make sure you find the right fit for you.
Lesson 2: You can’t produce careless content through your blogs. Anymore everyone is blogging—it’s a great way to show your work to professionals and get your message out to the world.
However, most bloggers don’t realize blogging is a full-time job, if you want it to be successful. Even bloggers who are making it their full-time job aren’t putting in enough time.
Also, PSA, taking the same picture in a different location isn’t going to cut it.
You need innovative pictures that are different and unique to each post you write. Your content needs to be carefully thought out each week and planned through editorial calendars.
In all, it takes time, money and effort to effectively keep your blog up and running. So, even though everyone’s blogging, doesn’t mean they are doing it effectively.
Lesson 3: Say ‘Yes’ to Everything. People always say, “You can’t do everything, pick and choose what you want to do.”
In PR, this isn’t the case. You say yes, and then say it some more. This goes back to PR not being your typical 9-5 job. Saying ‘yes’ will not only give you experience, it will open several opportunities for you to advance your network, portfolio and reputation of being able to get the job done.
Lesson 4: Learn to love what you’re working on. Most people (OK, mainly just us college students) believe we are going to get our dream job paying the perfect salary the minute we graduate. Although this may happen for a small percentage of people (and good for you) but in reality, you’re going to start out in places giving you experience and odds are you might not exactly like it right away.
You have to make sacrifices to get where you want to end up because you never know the doors this gig will open for you. Even if you don’t like what you are working on initially, find ways to start liking it.
Find commonality in what you’re working on with passions and interests of your own—it will make your job much easier, and who knows you might even make something great of it. You will end up where you need to be.
Lesson 5: Be in the moment. Take time to slow down. A majority of speakers mentioned even through all the hustle and bustle of PR, you must realize you have to take time to slow down and appreciate everything going on around you. PR is a great field because you are constantly connecting and expanding your network—you are the ‘Popular Polly’ of professions.
Everyone comes to you which means pressure and everything can become stressful. You will have times where you want to give up—but the outcome will always outweigh the stress you are facing now.
Enjoy your job, be thankful for it because each day you get to come do work that you’re passionate about. Not everyone has that same feeling towards a job. Slow down and enjoy it.
If you want to learn more about how you can join PRSSA to gain real-world experience and gain growth by attending conferences as such, contact Ashley Dalsing, president of PRSSA at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jane Murphy at email@example.com.