By: Josie Bobeck
As public relations majors, an important part of our college careers and eventually our professions, will require us to have good habits in order to stay sane and to do our jobs efficiently. And it’s not just about staying organized—it’s about punctuality, maturity, and taking care of you. Research states that it takes 21 days to form a habit. So why not start now? Here are a few habits future PR professionals should possess in the workplace.
- Create a vibrant – but appropriate – online persona. Social media is a wonderful tool that everyone uses, especially PR practitioners who use it both in the workplace and in their personal lives. Being considerate online is something most people don’t think about when tweeting, writing Facebook statuses, or even blog posts. What we post online will be there forever, so we need to get in the habit of being aware of what we’re posting.
- Keep up with the connections. At every agency tour I’ve been to this year, I’ve received business cards from the practitioners who spent time with us and a message along the lines of “Email me if you ever have any questions or want to know more about our firm.” Those cards are not to be tossed in the nearest trash can or recycling bin. These are the people we could potentially be working alongside one day, or the ones who give us internships. Having a special place in your purse or wallet for these can be beneficial when you least expect it.
- Be up front, but be polite. In the PR industry, we are representing our client. It’s in the nature of our career to be biased and to do our absolute best to protect our client and make sure they have the best reputation they could possibly have. As a result of this, we may butt heads with others at times or we may have to portray a certain image during a crisis. Although it can be hard, it’s in our best interest to be as kind as we can be so that our attitudes do not affect our client or our personal brand.
- Be punctual and stay punctual. PR is not a 9 to 5, Monday to Friday job. At any given moment, we may get a phone call that our client has a crisis and needs immediate attention. In order to be on top of our game, we need to have it together. Staying on top of emails and phone calls is one way to keep us from losing our minds and show our client that we have our lives together so we can do the best job possible. Creating folders in your email, having an online calendar, and even having a physical planner can do wonders for those who are busy all the time.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. This is something I started learning in my major classes early on. Everyone in the industry has their niche, whether it be writing an awesome press release or doing a superb job preparing a client for an interview and having it go well. Everybody has their way of doing things that works best for them, and that is something to be proud of. Comparing yourself to other people in this type of work will only start a fire that can’t be put out, so it’s best to do your thing and let others do theirs.
Honorable mention – Drink water! Your body will thank you later. Doing this will not only make you feel good, but it will help you get through your long days. If you feel good, you will do better and that will make all the difference.
Josie Bobeck is a junior majoring in public relations with a double minor in electronic media and film studies, and marketing, and serves as VP of Member Relations in PRSSA. She hopes to one day work in the entertainment/pop culture industry. Josie loves her dogs, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and has freckles on her arm shaped like the little dipper. You can connect with her on Twitter at @JosieBobeckPR.