Beginning Your PR Career in a New City
Moving is no easy task, especially moving to Los Angeles. As college graduation was approaching, I was beginning the job search in my hometown and thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to land a job in PR since I had already completed a few internships. Boy, was I wrong! It was crickets and a few interviews here and there for months and then pretty much overnight, I decided that within the next month I was going to move six hours away in hopes to work at a PR Agency in LA.
A month passed by and I was all moved into my apartment in Los Angeles and my next step was to start my career at a public relations agency. However, I had absolutely no clue as to where to look. Moving was the hardest part but knowing about only five people in LA, I felt as if my options were a bit limited. You’ve probably heard the term, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” and though that may be true, it’s not always the case. Here are a few tips and tricks I would recommend for those new graduates who are ready to start their PR careers.
- Look into a local Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter in your area and reach out the chapter leaders or the Young Professionals division. Be sure to introduce yourself and let them know that you’re new to the area. PRSA chapters also host networking events and happy hours, which are a great way to meet people in the public relations industry. You’ll want to be sure to bring your business cards and hand them to each person you speak with and make sure you get their business card too. Within 24-hours I like to add the people I just met on LinkedIn and send them over a personalized note about why I enjoyed speaking with them. Get creative!
- Use job boards like the PRSA Job Center, Indeed, LinkedIn, Zip Recruiter, Glassdoor, your university’s alumni career board, etc. to seek out relevant opportunities.
- Determine which industry of public relations you would like to begin your career in by interning during college in different industries so you can find out what you may and may not enjoy. If you’ve already graduated from college you probably wouldn’t want to intern anymore and that’s totally okay! You can still look into different industries, such as Talent PR, Franchise PR Agency, Lifestyle PR Agency, etc. From there you’ll find a handful of agencies you would be interested in working for in the future.
- Now that you have a handful of agencies you’re interested in, they may not have any job postings online, don’t let that discourage you from reaching out. Do some research on the website and make sure to utilize your resources such as LinkedIn to find contact information and try to reach out to set-up an informational interview. An informational interview is simple: you’re setting up a 30-minute to a one-hour coffee meeting with someone at an agency your interested in beginning your career with. Use this informational meeting to pick their brains about why they chose their industry and agency, etc. Similar as to after a networking event, send them a thank you email for taking the time out of their day to meet with you. This is also where you can plug-in why you are interested in working for the agency and if they know of any potential openings.
Of course, the tips I’ve listed above aren’t the only ways you can get a job in public relations after you’ve moved to a new city. But, these are a few of the steps I took to find my career here at Konnect, Happy job hunting, and good luck!