Our #prstudchat is this week! The session will be a discussion between PR students and industry professionals on August 18, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. Valerie Simon (@valeriesimon) wrote an awesome article discussing the value of students and pros coming together to discuss the PR industry and how the chat session will allow students to determine if “PR is Right for Me.” We also set up a LinkedIn group to get the conversations started. I thought it would be fitting in this blog post to discuss some of the PR questions that so many students want to know, but may not have had the opportunity to ask.
I remember when I was a junior at Glassboro State College (which is now Rowan University). I wondered about the many intricate details of my new profession. I was a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and I recall asking the practicing PR pros at my school general questions about the PR as a career. These questions included: Why did you select PR as a career? What are the best books to read about the profession? How did you know you wanted to be in an agency or an in-house PR department? Did you learn about other marketing disciplines on the job? There was never an opportunity to dig really deep into the minds of many professionals at once.
With PR 2.0, now you have your chance. Here are some really targeted questions that I wanted answered when I was in school, but actually didn’t find out the answers until I was well into my career and learning on the job. Feel free to ask any of these questions during #prstudchat. If they’re not all covered, then I will specifically write another blog post to answer each and every one of them.
- Is public relations integrated into other areas of marketing or does it stand alone?
- How closely should PR work with other areas of the company (i.e., sales, product development, legal, etc.)?
- In an entry level, account executive position, who do I report to? Will I get any face time with VPs or the C-Level executives?
- If I work for a large PR firm, is it difficult to be recognized by upper management? Is it better to work in a small agency so that I can be noticed?
- How long should you stay in a job before you try to advance to a higher title? Does it look bad to have several jobs/companies on your resume?
- Will I have my own clients as an entry level person or will I still be more of an assistant to a PR account manager?
- If you intern at a firm, should you accept an entry level position there? Will they still treat you like the intern?
- What is the most gratifying part of your public relations position?
- What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you on the job? How did you handle the situation?
- Is it important to pursue continuing education in PR (APR certification)? Why do some people have an APR and some professionals don’t?
- Should you join a professional association and what should you look for in this organization?
- Is public relations a 9 to 5 job?
- What are some tips to get noticed by senior PR people when you’re new to a company?
- Do you need to have a strong background in journalism to be a good PR person?
- Is it important for PR people to understand a company’s business and marketplace?
- What are some good courses that make a PR person well rounded?
I hope these questions are helpful for our #prstudchat on Wednesday. Valerie and I look forward to a frank and dynamic discussion in the interest of helping PR students and PR professionals to better understand one another, based on the challenges and changes the industry faces today. If you have any more questions, feel free to suggest them. I believe that if you ask these types of questions and get your answers from a number of professionals, then you will be able to answer the most important question of all, “Is PR Right for Me?”