Getting Started Professional Development

How to Get a Job in Public Relations with Expert Jeff Domansky

Job hunting
Written by Jessie Liu

Ed Domansky started The PR Coach as a collection of links useful to PR pros. But as it grew, it became a central resource for public relations thoughts, tips and, of course, jobs. Ed, a PR professional with more than a quarter-century of experience, talked with us about public relations, what we can learn from the industry, and job hunting tips.

What are some unique challenges in finding a job in public relations?

The range of skills necessary and expected of PR pros has dramatically increased to include social media, technology, and some specialized skills such as video, content marketing, curation, and community relations.

Competition for PR jobs is no longer just local, but national and sometimes international. In addition, journalists, technology and social media experts now compete for PR job opportunities because the skill sets are converging. This can create challenges for both employers and job hunters.

It's also very important to note that there are many more jobs available for people with PR skills in marketing, advertising, social media, and other related industries where "PR" may not be in the job title.

What lessons from public relations can anybody apply to the job search?

PR pros must have super research, writing, social media, and communication skills. That should mean PR people know how to research and where to look for jobs, how to prepare their resumes at a high level, and pitch themselves better than most other job hunters. These expectations are similar for all job hunters, but even higher standards are set for PR.

What are a few misconceptions about public relations that are still out there?

It's surprising that some employers, clients, and young PR pros still think getting media coverage and organizing special events will be your primary job. Nothing could be further from the truth today. While media relations and event management are valuable skills, the PR profession requires a full range of other skills.

Be the best writer you can be and have evidence of it in your portfolio. You do have an online portfolio, don't you?

For example, content marketing is a unique skill set and is in demand. Journalists have the news and writing experience that many PR pros have, in addition to a wider community perspective that is often needed in PR.

If you could give your younger self some advice about searching for a job, what would it be?

Be the best writer you can be and have evidence of it in your portfolio. You do have an online portfolio, don't you? Excel at social media and make certain all of your social media profiles stand out from the crowd, yet don't contain any faux pas. Increase your knowledge of technology. Be incredibly well-researched about your prospective employers, their issues, industry challenges, and market opportunities.

What trends should we be keeping an eye on when it comes to hiring in the public relations industry, and why?

PR pros need to stay ahead of changes and developments in social media. In the past five years, the PR profession has been totally disrupted. The PR toolbox now contains a sometimes overwhelming number of social media tools. The learning curve is constant, and yet we still need to retain knowledge of traditional PR.

Because of the impact of technology and social media, PR is no longer a 9-to-5 job. We now work in a 24/7 environment just like news media and global organizations.

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