So we’re already a month into the new university year; we have a vague idea what we’re supposed to do for the hundreds of assignments we’ve been set and we’re thinking to ourselves “hmm..maybe I should step at least one foot into the library this week”. But instead of counting down the weeks til Christmas (9 weeks and 2 days, FYI) Autumn is now officially the time to get into gear and become the best PR student in the country, and here’s a few tips to get you started!
1) Get yourself organised
I don’t know about you, but I just love a good to-do list. What better feeling than ticking off a bullet point and feeling like your life is well and truly together?! Don’t get carried away and write ‘do 3,000 word essay’ because, let’s be honest, that’s not going to happen in one sitting. Instead, set yourself small targets, such as ‘write introduction’. A pretty little notebook or planner will motivate you to stay organised, too.
2) Stay on top of your social media
That drunk photo of you standing on the counter in the kebab shop? Yeah, your lecturer/potential internship employer doesn’t want to see that. And neither does your Grandma. Take some time and clean up your sites because, whilst uni is all fun and games in Oceana, it’s also the stepping stone to getting your first job. Also, if you haven’t already, set up a LinkedIn account. Throughout your PR course, you should be doing lots of work placements and LinkedIn is the best way to record them, get endorsements and recommendations and generally set yourself up for the big PR working world!
3) Set up a blog
Blogs are all the rage in this day and age. You can use blogs to brand yourself and show employers your writing style, interests and general PR passion. Obviously, be realistic and don’t commit to blogging 10 times a week – uni work has got to stay of first and foremost importance – but a blog gives you the chance to show your passion goes beyond the four walls of a lecture hall. Richard Bailey runs a series called #bestPRblogs in which he chooses the best PR student blog posts of the week and features them on Behind the Spin – check last weeks out here!
4) Give some thought into the future
Whether you’re 1st, 2nd or 3rd year, or even Masters, there’s no harm in looking into all the different areas of PR you can go into once you graduate. You might be particularly interested in Charities, Fashion, Theaters or even the Zoo – all of them use PR. Find out what you love and get in contact with them for work experience or internship opportunities; if you can, why not get experience in in all the sectors?! Even if you’ve known ever since you were 15 that you want to be Wills and Kate’s PR officer, 2 weeks with Legoland’s PR team might change your mind completely.
5) Go to guest speaker talks
It’s your day off from uni, your tutors have been sending you Facebook messages for 3 weeks about a ‘excellent motivational speaker’ who’s coming to talk about how they went from cleaning the toilets in KFC to becoming a top B2B PR practitioner. You’d probably rather not go, but let’s be honest, what would you be doing instead? Probably watching old episodes of Lost on Netflix. Get up and go!! Don’t miss out on any opportunities. This talker could have connections with the sector you want to pursue, or they could have some great tips you could blog about. The Lost episodes will still be there when you get home, don’t worry.
Have you got any other tips to becoming a great PR student?! Comment below!
Solent PR Editor