Three Lessons I’ve learned As A PR assistant

After graduating from college, it’s easy to feel like a little fish in a big pond. This past May after I crossed the URI quad to receive my diploma, I remember thinking “I did it! – so now what?” Luckily, I was able to score my first real PR job at Caster.

In September I started as a public relations assistant and let me tell you, it has been nothing like I expected it to be — in the best way possible! Here are three things I’ve learned as a PR Assistant:

Pitch, Pitch, Pitch — And Then, Pitch Some More

I was taught pitching in school; we would do weekly exercises where we would pretend to send a pitch to journalists where we were graded on the format, grammar, and content. I think that this is a great exercise, but I had no idea that pitching would become so ingrained in my weekly to-do list. It can sometimes be frustrating — there are some days where I’ll send 20 pitches and won’t get a single response back, and then there are other days where I stumble upon a contact, send them a quick pitch that turns into a story or interview.

I think patience and persistence are key when it comes to pitching, this is a skill that I’m trying my best to fine-tune, and that’s okay! All skills take time.

Favor Details Over Speed

My position is often referred to as the “catch all” for the client teams I support. This requires strong attention to detail, which is arguably the most important skill to have. For example, is the person that I’m pitching somebody that has been pitched for that client before? Is there a deadline coming up for an award that I’m eager to submit a client for? What version of the press release are we on? Having a support member on the team ensures that the little details are in place.

In any new job, there is a certain pressure to get things done quickly; however, I’ve learned that it’s often better to take my time and make sure that I am catching all of the important information, than rush through a project.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

I think there’s a weird stigma that comes along with asking questions, as if it somehow makes you seem less competent. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The Caster team offers a huge pool of knowledge that I can learn from, and there is no shame in asking questions! This is my first real-life PR experience, and learning is part of the job.

When I started at Caster, I found asking questions especially difficult, because in past jobs I’ve had people would tend to get annoyed by questions. Now, I like to look at it this way: Would I rather ask a simple question, or, spend twice the amount of time on a project trying to figure it out on my own? There’s a time and place for asking questions, but like my elementary teachers used to say, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question!”

I’m still learning as I go, and I can’t wait to see where Caster leads me! Interested in continuing the conversation? Follow me on Twitter @ShannonHunterPR or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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