Monday morning, Wardour Street, Soho, 8am. Not due to be in the office until 9 a.m., I was two coffees down and definitely rather anxious about my first day in the big wide working world. The first thing I learnt, however, is that the most apprehensive part about a new job is the hours leading up to it: once you’re there you barely have a chance to remember to be worried.
A month has passed since my first day at PHA and I’ve learned a lot in that period. Looking back, if I could have asked for one thing before I started it would have been some advice on what to expect, so here is my guide to anyone starting in PR.
- Ask questions. Lots of questions. As Voltaire said, “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” Smart man. The more you ask the more you learn, it really is that simple.
- Don’t expect to know everyone’s names within your first week (unless you’re in a company with ten people, in which case you probably should). During one internship I accidentally sent an email to a client instead of my colleague as I confused their names. Much embarrassment. Revisit point one.
- Flexibility is your friend. Firstly, no one day is the same in PR and you could plan your day down to the last second but chances are that something will crop up that throws this plan out of the window. By all means, be organised (this will help A LOT), have targets for each day, but don’t always expect plain sailing.
- Chances are, you may know more about the day to day workings of PR than some of your clients. This can be a bit of a blessing, the less they know the more responsibility you have and the less they might try to correct you. Of course, this also means that you need to understand exactly what you are doing for them and guide them through it step by step.
- Be a chameleon. Being in PR means that you have to be able to judge how you present yourself in front of certain people, and this changes from colleagues to client and from client to client. One client regularly includes ‘fo shizzle’ in her responses, some clients may not understand this down-with-the-kids talk, so probably best avoided overall.
- Speak your mind! At the interview you sold yourself as someone who would be able to contribute something valuable to the team, so voice your opinions and ideas. After all, you weren’t hired to sit in the background.
- You’ll develop a new found passion for something you have never even thought about before. Well, you will at least spend enough time writing and pitching so enthusiastically about something you’ll think you have.
- Very few things are ever irretrievable. Probably the most reassuring piece of advice: if something goes wrong, keep calm and ask for help, your colleagues will always be on hand to assist.
For more information about PR jobs, internships or opportunities at The PHA Group, visit our recruitment section by clicking this link or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Image courtesy of Niuton May, flickr.com