IABC - International Association of Business Communicators Be Heard

students

IABC is the premier organization for communication, business and journalism students. We offer a variety of resources and opportunities for students who plan on entering the communication profession. Get insights from leaders in the profession, make valuable contacts, and supplement your academic education with practical training to get your career started.

Unsolicited career advice to PR students

March 26th, 2012

By Donna Papacosta

One side benefit of having been around the block a few times, as they say, is the opportunity to share some of my experience with students. When I attend IABC events, I usually encounter students and recent grads eager to speak with the more seasoned practitioners.

I consider myself a student, too, albeit one with a little more mileage than a recent grad. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • A presence on social media platforms is a must if you want to distinguish yourself and attract potential employers. Think of a niche you can blog about, whether it’s fashion or cars.
  • Learn to use LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Perhaps set up a few pertinent boards on Pinterest, too.
  • Read leading PR, communication and digital marketing bloggers, and comment on their posts. Follow them on Twitter and elsewhere. As Mitch Joel says, it’s “permission-based stalking.” Need some names to get started? Joe Thornley, Shel Holtz, Neville Hobson, Dave Fleet, Kami Watson Huyse, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman, Mitch Joel, Valeria Maltoni.
  • Listen and learn from podcasts. I don’t know what I’d do without my weekly fix of For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report and Inside PR.
  • Internships and networking (both in person and online) are the best ways to score an interview and land a job.
  • Think about creating a video résumé and putting it on your blog or website.
  • Your job interview starts as soon as you approach the employer’s building. Be kind to the receptionist!
  • Don’t just join IABC; volunteer to get known.
  • Never be afraid of hard work.
  • It’s best to work for someone else before starting your own business. Learn on their dime.
  • If you don’t have enough samples of your work to show, volunteer to create a website or brochure for a church or small charity, or write articles for a community newspaper. Whatever your skill set, use it!
  • You have to hustle. No one is going to hand you anything on a platter (I think my Mom said this first).

Donna Papacosta, IABC/Toronto


Donna Papacosta of Trafalgar Communications is a writer, speaker, podcaster and consultant who helps individuals and companies to find their passions, share their stories and build their businesses. Connect with Donna @DonnaPapacosta

You must be a logged in IABC member to post a comment.

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.