I’ve been involved with Public Relations Student Society of America this semester, which is an organization of pre-public relations professionals that meet twice a month. PRSSA is a stepping stone to the professional organization, Public Relations Society of America. One of the best parts of PRSSA, is when we have PR professionals come and present during meeting.
At today’s meeting, we had representatives of The Communications Group, a PR agency in Little Rock, come speak to us. Senior PR Specialist, Jason Brown, spoke to us about writing, resumes and jobs.
Brown stressed multiple times the importance of writing in PR. “Take how much writing you are doing now, times that by a hundred,” Brown said. “Then, that will be just half of how much writing you will do.” If Brown had to pick the single most important quality of a PR person, he would say writing skills, and most other PR professionals will agree. Also, he stressed that if you are only exposing yourself to writing when you are completing assignments, you are already behind. Reading and writing for pleasure will help you to be more successful in the future.
Brown said that a resume is basically selling yourself on paper. When you think about it, it is crazy that you have to express all of your qualifications on one, single-sheet of paper. If that doesn’t teach you how to keep it short and simple, I don’t know what else will. He also told us to tailor the cover letter of our resume to the organization we are sending it to. Which is something you would think is common sense, but it is easy to overlook.
One major tip that Brown gave us about preparation for job interviews is to bring your portfolio. Bringing your portfolio lets the interviewer see your writing, and what you are capable of doing. Even showing them your blog is vital for separating you from other applicants! 😉
Brown did a wonderful job giving us tips about writing, resumes and jobs, but one statement that he made that stuck with me the most is the ability to have thick skin, and a thin skull. In other words, don’t take instructive criticism personal, and be open to critique because it will teach you valuable lessons in the long run. In today’s fast-paced workplace, critiques will come more than praise, but with every critique comes more knowledge. Knowledge will be the thing to mold you into a successful PR professional.