I just got back from a PRSA-NCC professional development session all about the state of the PR market and what jobs are hot. The panel, moderated by Kate Perrin of PRofessional Solutions, included Ben Long, president, Travaille Executive Search, Ned Lundquist, ABC, publisher Job of the Week (JOTW) newsletter, Dave Groobert, general manager, Environics USA, and Fred Whiting, strategic communications associate, Booz Allen Hamilton. It was a great session, something that would have been helpful during the time I was between jobs, or looking for my first. So here are the highlights – if you are an established PR professional all the panelists seemed to agree that you should already possess a myriad of marketable skills – the greatest of which is the ability to do PR! Sell yourself as effectively as you do the messages of your clients. In addition, good PR Professionals have strong writing skills, think strategically and creatively, can juggle tasks, and can generate new business.

The old conundrum of “experience” came up as well. If you are new in the field how do you approach jobs that require experience. How does one gain experience without, well, experience? The panelists highly recommended internships at PR firms. Also, I think another strong suggestion was learning how to couch the experience you do have (academic or other) in PR terms – a class project as juggling tasks, article written for a college paper, a retail job in which you had to deal with multiple vendors. Or as Dave Groobert of Environics USA succinctly put it – fake it.

Good advice all the way around. Combine it with coffee and a continental breakfast and I’d say it was a fully nutritional morning…


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