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We often talk about what it takes to be successful in public relations once you are in the industry. But how exactly do you know it is an industry you want to enter? If one thing is certain, there is no one path to anything in life. In a previous blog, we talked with journalists about how they broke into the journalism space. The road to public relations is no different. Public relations is all about connecting people, building relationships, and telling stories. OnePitch Chief Operating Officer, Jered Martin, took to Twitter to see how PR pros found their way to their roles. He asked:
What inspired you to work in PR? #prrequest
— Jered Martin (@JmoMonk) October 15, 2020
Here is what some had to say:
When asked as a child what they wanted to be when they grew up, it is no surprise that no one said, “I want to work in PR!” Though some get an education in public relations, oftentimes PR finds the person. Both Dorothy Crenshaw and Janne Virtanen discovered PR by happenstance. They say:
Ppl my age mostly fell into it. I “loved books” so interviewed at a publisher. When HR said they had spots in 3 areas: subsidiary rights, sales promotion, and publicity, I said publicity b/c it was the only one I understood?. Later hired at a PR firm for writing. Pretty random.
— dorothy crenshaw (@dorocren) October 15, 2020
I sort of fell into it by “accident”. I was studying advertising in university and did a PR module as part of it. It just clicked and made sense to me.
Plus… who doesn’t like to tell good stories.
— Janne Virtanen (@JanneVirtanen81) October 15, 2020
Similarly, many discovered their interest in public relations after working adjacent to the PR scene. For OnePitch alum Cassie Gonzales, it was actually her role as a Community and Brand Manager at OnePitch that introduced her to the PR space. She said:
Some surfer dude named Jered randomly emailed me one day asking if wanted to interview for a software company in the PR space and I was poor and hated my job so I was like wtf why not.
Then I made friends and wanted to do what they were doing.
— Cassie Gonzalez (@cass_mcfrass) October 15, 2020
Likewise, Caroline Eardley was introduced to public relations and discovered her love for it on her path toward journalism. She notes:
Wanted to be a journalist but did some work exp in a PR agency on my gap year and loved it, so decided to do the (then very new!) PR degree at Leeds Met. I love writing, I am quite a good “people person” I think, and I’m the noisiest person I know ? the cards were dealt!
— Caroline Eardley (@CarolineEardles) October 16, 2020
Many PR professionals’ responses were not about storybook, straightforward paths. A majority of those who responded listed, not direct aspirations to work in this specific industry, but specific qualities that the PR space fulfills and embodies. One of those qualities was beautifully stated by Stuart Bruce.
Finding out I didn’t have to decide on just one industry but could actually learn about anything from castrating sheep and sending video down a phone line to making compost and court cases about mad cow disease. 30 years later still love the variety.
— Stuart Bruce PR Futurist ? (@stuartbruce) October 16, 2020
Unlike other spaces, the PR world allows you to dive into countless industries and conversations with nearly anyone about anything! Many also noted PR as a space that is perfect for those who love to connect with various individuals from all walks of life.
No matter how you go into the industry, once you catch the public relations bug, it can be hard to shake off. Working in public relations boils down to people’s passion to thrive in dynamic environments that connect, tell stories, and evolve conversations. If it was not worth it, why else would PR professionals put up with those hectic days, long nights, or random crisis-management waves? PR is a space where people’s stories are what matter.
Working in public relations, every day is a new opportunity to build a relationship and advance important stories forward. Most times, media pitches are the backbone of these interactions. Head to Your Complete Guide to Pitching the Media to understand the fundamentals of pitching, tips on media pitch essentials, and A1 examples to reference along the way. Step up your pitch game today!
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