A Young PR Pro’s Starting Steps to an Ever-Changing Industry

Colleen O'Morrow

Colleen O’Morrow

It’s that magical time of the year again. Yes, it’s the holidays of course but I’m referring to that time of the year specifically for college seniors: The job search is on!

It’s an exciting time but with all young PR pros applying to jobs at the same time, it also means that you’re up against a herd of other qualified candidates. So, how do you make yourself stand out?

At MediaSource, aside from my marketing duties, I also work in our hiring and human resources department. Right now we are hiring for a Digital/Brand Journalist position, which is a revolutionary new position for PR pros. While vetting resumes and cover letters, we search for the key characteristics of a young professional looking to a gain a job in the new media age.

There’s one thing all PR pros know going into 2015: The industry is changing. That’s the amazing thing about our industry. It’s ever-changing and jobs that didn’t exist five years ago are busting out with new and exciting opportunities. It’s a great time to be in our field!

The evolution of pitching a reporter, integration of media types (owned, earned, etc.) and other industry changes have led to an increase in new age jobs like the Digital/Brand Journalist.

The keys to landing these jobs may take up a little more of your free time (if a young PR pro has a day with free time!) but it’s worth it in the long-run.

Expand your academic and extracurricular choices

Sure, we all have public relations coursework and extracurricular activities listed on our resumes but what other work makes us unique? For instance in a new media PR position, which could involve a PR pro creating multimedia content, experience in journalism is highly valued!

Own a Blog!

The word “own” seems pretty serious, right? But no worries, managing your own blog is super easy thanks to free blog hosting sites such as WordPress. It’s important to show that you have experience in creating your own newsworthy and interesting content. Besides, owning a blog is a fun way to relax and be creative! My first blog was a beauty blog where I posted tutorials and reviews; I loved it and I was also sure to include it on my resume.

Be Well-Rounded in All Parts of Media

We aren’t just “PR people”. We should consider ourselves media professionals who understand everything that’s happening in the industry. Like stated before, any experience in journalism is beneficial as a PR pro in the new industry age. This could include journalistic writing skills (writing for a university magazine or paper, managing a blog), multimedia editing skills (experience in editing programs such as Final Cut Pro or Adobe Photoshop) and story brainstorming, vetting and creation. As we’ve learned at MediaSource, when you understand journalists, it really works in your advantage. A potential employer would love to gain an employee who understands what makes journalists tick.

Be Versatile.

Like I mentioned earlier, we all know that a PR pro’s duties change all the time. You need to be able to do any tasks with a variety of skills and experience. That’s why it’s important to be well-rounded in media extracurricular activities. In these new media jobs you are the ultimate superman or superwoman, you know how to do it all! Why make an employer train you when you can be prepped for the tasks of a modern-day PR superstar?!

Curious as to what your main strength would be as a Digital/Brand Journalist? Take our fun quiz, What Type of (Brand Journalist) Are You, to discover how much you really are like Ron Burgundy: http://bit.ly/WhatTypeOfBrandJournalistAreYou

Colleen O’Morrow is Marketing Assistant for brand journalism leader, MediaSource. She is also a full-time strategic communications student at The Ohio State University set to graduate in May 2015.

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