As a student, some of the best learning experiences come from outside the classroom. That is why my tour at Geben Communication was such a valuable experience. In their new space off Main Street in downtown Columbus, Ohio, Geben Communication welcomed my PRSSA Chapter with inside perspectives and advice for entering the public relations industry. During the tour we had the choice of two of four breakaway sessions, including social media, media relations, Geben culture and client management. During the sessions we heard a little about each section but were encouraged to ask questions. Here is what I learned during the tour:
1. Being Confident is Essential
“Be confident, it’s something that will come to you with time,” said Rose Finnerty, account manager. Confidence is key when building a relationship with a client because confidence shows them you have what it takes to achieve their goal.
2. Know What’s Going on Around you
“Become a news junky,” said Megan Severs, vice president of client strategy. In the public relations industry you need to be in the know on current events and be able to use what is going on to your client’s advantage. Severs also encouraged us to take more journalism-focused coursework, so we will be able to anticipate what the media is looking for and might do next.
3. Be Well Rounded and Detail Orientated
“You need to be detail orientated and not just say you are, mean it,” said Taylor Ray Orsbon, senior account manager. When doing work in an agency you need to be able to switch between different clients and still maintain their attention to detail on the tasks at hand. Orsbon also urged us to volunteer with anything and everything in the communication field, because volunteering makes students more confident and prepared for different situations.
4. Be Willing to Learn
“It’s not how much you know that matters, it’s the willingness to learn,” said Suzy Casey, media relations specialist. She said when starting your first job it is expected you do not know everything, what matters is you have a positive attitude.
Benjamin Campbell is a sophomore strategic communication major at The Ohio State University. Ben hopes to pursue a career in corporate communication after college.