Starting Up in Public Relations
By Natalie Meek
Laura Vellidis hasn’t always known that she wanted to go into PR. She knew she loved to talk, and had a passion for communicating with people; PR found her at the right time, in the right place.
In this PRSSA National Conference session, Vellidis talked about her experience as a starting professional in the Public Relations field. On the day of her college graduation, she received a job offer form Nebo, a full service marketing company in Atlanta. After spending two years with the company, she established 4 main expectations that aspiring professionals should know when coming into their first job.
Expectation 1: You have a lot to learn.
As a new professional, there’s a lot you don’t know and a lot to learn. However, a lot of what you learn is by doing things through the real world. During your first few years you will see experience in motion. You will be working with people who have a history of PR experience, which means they have their experience with successes and failures. You are fresh off the boat. In reality, time is what makes you a good PR professional so take the first year to figure out what you do and don’t like.
Expectation 2: PR is constantly changing.
The field of public relations is ever-changing. The way that we consume news media and speak to each other has changed. This means that what you think is news may not actually turn out to be news. Vice versa, be aware of what is happening in the social world. Creativity is key; do something that differentiates you from other people.
Expectation 3: Never stop learning.
You have to understand that PR isn’t the only thing going on in the world. This seems trivial, but it’s important. Take the time to learn about other industries. Even more than that, always learn about new programs or projects happening in your office. Ask questions, push yourself and leadership will notice if you are taking interest in extra things.
Expectation 4: Stay versatile.
Public Relations comes in all shapes and sizes. From corporate to agency to sports to celebrity relations, there are endless possibilities. Don’t discount any realm of PR just because you’ve never experienced it. That being said, don’t get stuck in what you’re doing. Figure out where you thrive.
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