If Working in PR is a Marathon, I‘ve Had a Pretty Great Start
It is my first month at Caster Communications, and I’m thrilled to be starting as a Public Relations Assistant. Finding a job in a pandemic proved to be much more difficult than I anticipated. When I got the call asking to join the Caster team, I felt total validation.
After sending in applications, resumes, and cover letters like it was going out of style for about 6 months and hearing nothing back, I became discouraged. It was frustrating knowing that I have the skills, education, and passion necessary to succeed and not be able to put it to use. From building innovative campaigns to conducting market research and applying that towards a target audience, I have pushed myself to go above and beyond as I’ve studied for a career in PR. Many of the jobs I was applying for just didn’t see that personal drive – literally. They were too far away for an in-person interview, and sometimes opted to conduct remote interviews over the phone rather than in person. I had no chance to connect. I knew that Caster was different when they led an interview that lasted for over an hour, filled with laughter, stories, and smiles. Best of all, given my age and experience level, I felt for one of the first times that I was being taken seriously in a professional environment.
Caster Communications saw something in me, and I am determined to show them exactly why I was hired. I have an incredible amount of passion and drive, and it feels good that I’m not the only person who recognizes that. I know that I have a lot to learn, but this is the right role for me. I’m currently working on small tasks, curating useful content, lists, research, and resources to support my clients. I know this is just the first step towards a role within Caster where I will be taking on a lot more responsibility. I consider it a good sign when I’m not being given busy work on my second day of work.
Prior to joining the team at Caster, I worked as a social media manager for Innovast Digital Marketing, and I’m still continuing to help out there part time. While I enjoy posting, creating content, and managing client brands, I am looking forward to implementing some of my writing skills into my Public Relations practice. For me, writing has always been a way to express both information as well as personality and flare into a piece. While social media work is fun, it doesn’t offer me many opportunities get beyond sales and information to real storytelling. As a PR professional, I’ll be able to deploy my entire writer’s toolset, adapting my style to achieve different goals in the field.
Speaking of adaptability, my writing and style has evolved immensely since my first few pieces of writing. Middle school Robert loved a bit of creative writing and even entered a few competitions. At the University of Rhode Island, I learned to refine that love of storytelling to craft clear, concise PR messages. Now, in my first month at Caster, I’m working on building my own brand as a newly minted PR professional. Here are some of the fun facts I’m working with:
- I started college as a Psychology major but changed my career path to Public Relations about halfway through. That didn’t stop me from getting both degrees while still graduating a semester early, though.
- I love pastels and earth tones, but I feel that I embody the color purple.
- I love EDM and Indie music, which may not go together. What can I say: I’m a dynamic human!
- One of my first jobs was as a Subway Sandwich Artist. A customer asked me what the difference between a 6 inch and a footlong sub was, to which I replied, “6 inches.”
- I have hyper-extended joints. That will probably be an issue later in life, but for now, I can do jump splits and bend in fun ways.
- When I was 9, I caught what I thought was a butterfly in my hands. I went to show my mom, who told me that it was probably a moth, since it was nighttime. I opened my hands, and a bat flew out. I laughed, I cried, I lived to tell the tale.
Connect with me on Twitter @robertzengapr. I promise I don’t bite!