I’ve been considering PR as a career choice lately, and through Chris Clarke’s blog have found tons of useful resources. I got this from New York University PR Forum, which was first taken from Sam Oakley’s blog, All Things PR (and some that aren’t).
Q. How do I know PR is for me?
A. You don’t know, until you’ve been doing it for a while but if you like reading, like the news, like talking and listening to people and don’t mind working very hard for very little money then you might well enjoy PR. I think there’s something of the speech writer inside most PR people in that we like seeing our words on the page or the screen and don’t mind that they’re attributed to someone else.
Q. What are important skill sets a PR person should have?
A. Writing and face to face communication are key. You also need to be flexible and willing to get stuck in, PR is not a 9 to 5. Every agency seems to be different and you have to be able to cope with that as well as different requirements of different journalists. You have to be able to form relationships quickly. I’d also say that you have to ”get” the internet and web 2.0 etc… though I doubt every MD of every PR agency would say that yet. You have to be willing to learn when someone knows more than you, have strength of convictions when you know more than them, and have the perspective to be able to tell the deference.
And another gem of a tip from commenter Ben Matthews, from delicious-sounding Pudding Relations:
If you like being in a profession where you constantly have to be aware of what is going on – and what is going to happen – on in the world around you (which can be further extended to even influencing what is going on in the world around you), if you have an interest in forming relationships with people, if you like variety in your day-to-day job, and of course a keen interest in the media and, increasingly more important, social media.
And some more sobering truth from Alain Desmier over at PR and Comms Network:
Do you passionately consume media? I don’t just mean do you read a newspaper every day, but do you read news magazines, blogs, download podcasts and actively engage with new media? You will earn you stripes by knowing and understanding your media channels. A passive interest is not good enough.
Is a lucrative starting salary what you are after? PR is rewarding in financial terms after a couple of years but don’t expect to start on the same salary as your mates at Deloitte!
The Deloitte bit really hits home. But no matter. Onward and upward!