18 November 2015- This Wednesday UW PRRSA had the pleasure of hosting a meeting with representatives from Weber Shandwick, one of the largest public relations agencies in the world. Weber Shandwick’s speakers presented our members with their personal experiences and work expectations in their agency, otherwise known as the "Do or Dies of PR".
Our guests explained that the transition from college to a career in PR will not always be easy due to the array of jargon that exist exclusively within the PR profession. It is critical that students learn these esoteric terms to better their career - it’s like going back to school again! Natalie Beaulieu advised members to speak up and ask questions, especially when it comes to using professional software like Google Analytics or Hub spot. “It’s okay to be annoying,” she said, “because that’s honestly the best way to learn.”
Aside from knowing esoteric terms, the skill every PR practitioners should cherish and nurture is writing. While this seems like common sense, agencies will not hire a candidate if he or she has poor grammar. With this foundation, many expectations still stack on, such as being proactive, thinking critically, and even practicing business etiquette, from speaking to clients to sending proper emails.
Of course, working in this industry also has its perks: Casual dress code; unique PR training; and professional development. Lastly, and most importantly, the speakers emphasized to not be discouraged by the seemingly arduous tasks required to become a PR professional. Students do not wander into this field by coincidence, it is their passion for creating, sharing, and informing that take them through this path- and that is a valuable trait we must be proud to have.
UW PRSSA encourages students to venture out of their comfort zone by finding mentorships, internships, and even scholarships by using our resources to better your education and professional development.