For our first PRSSA general meeting of the year, we were pleased to welcome back Rob Boulware of Seneca Resources. It was so great to hear him speak again because he always give great advice about life in the industry. Last year he spoke to us about five traps in which young professionals often get stuck. This year he touched on a few different areas, including networking, telling a good story, and more.
The piece of his discussion that stuck with me most was the 10 things he wishes he knew when he started his career. Here’s his list, and why it matters for people entering their careers in PR:
1. PR stands for people relations. You have to get really good at communicating with other people. It truly is the biggest part of the job.
2. Failure is part of it. Don’t get discouraged when you fail. You have to do it in order to learn. It’s all part of the process.
3. Sometimes great plans are simple plans. You don’t have to get too elaborate to find something that works. Be creative, but don’t over think things. Simplicity works.
4. The art of self promotion. You need to stand out from your peers if you want to land your dream job. Create a track record online. Put it out there so people understand your true value.
5. Building life relations. Some of the relationships you form now will stick with you for the rest of your career. You may not always need something from everyone you meet, but they can still be valuable members of your network.
6. Never too high with the highs or too low with the lows.
7. Pace never stops. In PR, you are constantly going and going. People tell you it’s a fast-paced career, and you need to believe how true it is before you make it your life.
8. Be the one they can’t live without. Be so good at what you do that employers want to keep you around.
9. Say hello before it’s time to say goodbye. You can never burn bridges in this industry. Everyone is connected somehow and it will come back to bite you. Get to know your peers, rather than ignoring them to make your way up.
10. Where is your seat when big things happen? Are you respected? PR pros should be consulted when it comes to the major events and crises in an organization. If you aren’t consulted on them, find somewhere else to work.
In my senior year, I’ve found it’s really important to hear the perspectives of people in the PR industry. Talks like this are really valuable to gain insight into the minds of people who were once in the same boat. It’s always great to pick someone’s brain about public relations and the real world.