Lindsay Olson

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7 Resources to Beef Up on Your Public Relations Skills

It can be daunting to apply for public relations jobs that want more experience than you’ve got. If you are just entering the workforce, it seems like every company wants you to have experience. But just because you’re new to the PR world doesn’t mean you can’t be a qualified candidate. Take the initiative to learn the skills you’ll need at your next job, and beef up your resume…even if it’s on your own dime.

1. PRWeb
Sure, you know PRWeb as a resource for publishing press releases, but did you know it’s also got a great resource center? There you can find great articles and white papers on writing press releases, using social media and SEO for PR. You can watch videos and attend webinars led by industry experts like John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing. They even offer free e-classes on all topics relating to PR.

2. Publicity Hound
Led by publicity expert Joan Stewart, Publicity Hound has some amazing resources. While some of her webinars, ebooks, reports and whitepapers have a fee, there’s still a slew of freebies on her site. Check out Joan’s blog to stay on top of industry news. If you want a PR mentor, Joan also offers mentoring services.

3. Press Releases
If you don’t have a ton of press releases under your belt, it can help you to read them online. Just check Google’s News feed or sites like PRWeb to get a sense for formatting, as well as headlines and content that appeal to readers.

4. Volunteer
Maybe you haven’t broken into the PR field just yet, but are ready to go. Consider volunteering for a charity or nonprofit to provide public relations services pro bono. It’s a great resume booster, and will give you a chance to get some real practice, get to know media contacts and try on the nonprofit industry for size. It might just lead to your first PR job!

5. Intern
We all start at the bottom and work our way up. Taking an internship, either through your college or on your own, gives you the chance to learn the ropes and build your portfolio. Let your employer know the skills you are interested in building, like writing or media relations. He’ll more than likely be willing to let you tag along while he works so you can learn from him if you have a clear focus to what you want to learn.

6. Hang with PR Pros on Twitter
On Twitter, there’s a ton of groups for public relations enthusiasts, like:

Participating in these scheduled group chats can give you valuable advice and provide you the chance to ask questions.

7. Network on LinkedIn Groups
There are many groups on LinkedIn catering to public relations experts, such as Public Relations and Communications Job Community (created by my search firm, Paradigm Staffing). Here, you’ll find links to quality PR content as well as discussions among people working in PR. It’s a great place to learn and network.

There’s so many ways you can teach yourself more about public relations and gear up for that next job interview!

Photo credit: Tom Magliery

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