From The Rock

Frightening PR: Fears of a new PR professional and how to overcome them

By | October 09, 2017

Fresh out of college, degree in hand, and you’ve landed your first PR job! In my case, I have internship experiences under my belt, so I knew a thing or two about working in an agency before I graduated. But, what happens when the only thing that you know is the inside of your AP Stylebook and Monday morning is your first day in the office? To help my fellow new PR professionals, I’ve listed some of the fears newcomers typically encounter and how to overcome some of those first day jitters.

  1. Is my writing strong enough to be published? Will my pitch be taken seriously?

When you pick up a magazine and learn about a new product or read a feature in the Memphis Business Journal on a new CEO, it’s likely that a public relations professional has assisted with that media placement. Once you begin representing a client, you must put your fears of talking to the media aside, and pitch, pitch, pitch! Learning to accept “no” in the beginning and growing thick skin is how you’ll make it. If your pitch isn’t succeeding, try another angle or redirect your client’s amazing idea to a nontraditional, but credible media outlet. You’re now your client’s advocate, and it is your duty to not be discouraged by an unresponsive reporter or an unsuccessful pitch.

Will I make a good fit in the agency world?

You’ve passed the interview stage, and now you’ve settled into your desk and gotten acquainted with a few of your colleagues. Now what? Remain professional at all times and be a good People enjoy talking about themselves, so get to know your coworkers by asking them questions about things they love. Always remember to keep topics of conversation professional!

This job entails meeting new people, be it clients, reporters or other PR professionals every day, so find your go-to introduction and stick with it. Be yourself, and you’ll fit right in in no time! I also suggest breathing in every word of your company’s handbook (or culture book in Obsidian’s case). There isn’t such a thing as a “bad question” on company policies, but you won’t get any brownie points for not doing your own company research.

Am I organized enough to maintain a roster of clients in different sectors?

After orientation has ended and the donuts and coffee from the agency’s human resource coordinator have settled, your manager assigns you to ten accounts. You are now responsible for maintaining the image of businesses that you may have never heard of! Familiarize yourself with each client by studying their website, reviewing past media placements and taking notes from documents that have been created for the client. Having a thorough understanding of their industry, nailing down the audiences they’re trying to reach, and knowing the expectations set forth by your agency and the client can lead to a better client relationship. Keep detailed notes during meetings and speak up when you don’t grasp a strategy or a tactic that has been presented.

Understanding what is required of you in your new position is crucial, and anticipating your client’s needs eliminates any reason to doubt yourself as a new professional. Write with passion, remain yourself and remember to do all of your research. When you’re trying something new, it isn’t uncommon to be fearful, however with careful planning and a will to succeed, overcoming your fears can be made simple.

How did you overcome your fears as a new PR professional? Leave a comment below and share your story!