If you have ever wanted to know more about the different types of public relations careers straight from professionals, then the PRSA Sections Series is here to help. The PRSA Sections Series highlights the 14 different PRSA Professional Interest Sections. Each month, two professionals will commentate on their specific subcategory of the industry in a question and answer session.
Our fourth post in this series was written by Nick Lucido (see bio below) and focuses on the New Professionals Section.
1. What can students expect when pursuing an entry-level position in the industry?
Students can expect a lot of competition in the entry-level job search. The reality is that many students graduate in either May or December. Unfortunately, public relations agencies don’t always hire large groups in this same time period, so there is certainly a lot of competition around these time periods. Additionally, it’s pretty much the industry standard now that you need to intern before getting hired full time, even after you’ve graduated. Job seekers need to be patient and realistic during this process.
2. What advice do you have for students looking to enter public relations?
The value of your network is critical to finding employment. You need to invest time and energy as a student into building your professional network. Many job opportunities will come through your network instead of applying blindly online. Taking the time to participate in PRSSA, both at the local and national level, will help you build that network and will position you for a solid start to your career. Also, consider gaining experience in a variety of settings. Working for different types of agencies and companies will help to broaden your experience and open doors for more positions.
3. What essential skills do students need to do well in the industry?
The value of being a solid communicator cannot be understated. Proficiency in both written and verbal communication will help you excel. The better you are at articulating your work – whether it is a tweet, an email or a press release – is critical. In addition to these technical proficiencies, having a positive, can-do attitude will help you advance in your career. You want to make sure you are the junior employee that your colleagues and managers want to work with.
4. What has surprised you most throughout the course of your career?
When I was in college, I thought I had an idea of what kinds of industries and clients I wanted to be working with. When I started at Edelman and had the opportunity to experience different clients, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed working on businesses I thought I would not enjoy. I think it’s important to keep an open mind throughout your career and take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you. Later on in your career, you’ll know what you like and what you don’t like, but don’t discard these opportunities in the beginning.
5. What is the biggest benefit of joining PRSA and the New Professionals Section as a recent graduate?
There are three key benefits to our Section: connection to the PRSA network and leadership opportunities, different content and programming and a community of more than 1,200 new professionals in the industry. For me, the benefit of having a community where I can bounce ideas, discuss issues and learn from other new professionals has been the best part of the organization. I’m also lucky to work for an organization that values leadership opportunities and this reflects positively in my career progression at Edelman.
Does this post have you interested in tapping into the New Professionals network after graduation? Until then, be sure to check out the PRSSA Internship Center and the PRSA Job Center for opportunities.
Nick Lucido is a senior account supervisor within Edelman’s digital practice specializing in research and analytics. He is on assignment in São Paulo as part of the global fellows program, Edelman’s leadership talent exchange, after working in Edelman’s Chicago office for five years. His experience at Edelman includes strategic planning across varied channels and analytics counsel for clients in a variety of industries, including CPG, travel and tourism, technology, healthcare and food and beverage. He is a past PRSSA National President and current New Professionals Section chair.