5 Tips: Starting out in PR

Paradigm Staffing’s Lindsay Olson recently posted a great question to Facebook:

What is the best piece of advice you could give a new grad/entry-level looking to enter the PR profession? What do you wish you would have known when you started your career?

I was lucky enough to start my career at one of the best shops and with one of the smartest teams in the industry: the corporate/issues team at Ogilvy & Mather (for those younger than me, that’s Ogilvy as in the David Ogilvy). Here are five of the nuggets of advice I contributed to Lindsay’s thread:

  1. Just get in the door. I started as an admin assistant for a top EVP at Ogilvy. You will see everything and be able to learn from it. Check your diploma at the door.
  2. If you aren’t a media junkie, become one. Everything from TechCrunch to WSJ to Politico to The Superficial. Make sure your knowledge of inane current events is a thousand miles wide.
  3. Blog. Get active on Twitter. Your peers — competitors — most likely aren’t. Companies hire humans, not resumes.
  4. Once you’re inside, take every opportunity that’s available to you. You can sleep* after you’ve made a name for yourself as a hard-working, get-it-done, creative team player.
  5. Make a list of all the free food, half-price drink happy hours around your new office. Trust me on this one. They money will come later.

* I’m still waiting on the sleep part. Realize that the best in this business are always on.

(Huge thanks to people like Henry Gomez, Steve Goodman, Ken Jacobs, David Tager, Russell Cheek ,Lisa Dimino and Brian Maloney for teaching me well.)

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