Friday, 1 May 2015
5 Things PR and Media Students Should Be Doing
After speaking to Rachel Kay on Twitter earlier in the week about how young PR professionals don't tend to prescribe to traditional media, I began to think about things that I do that many in position don't think they need to do, as they're just students. You should never think that you are just a student and you don't have to be doing anything yet, the more knowledgeable you are the more employable you will be. So here are my tips for PR and Media students.
Read/Watch The News
In a class last year only a handful of people put their hands up to identify that they knew who Edward Snowden was and this absolutely baffled me, he was all over the news. And then I realised why, they didn't watch or read traditional news. A lot of people my age get their news from tabloids or blogs, which only really give one view of the news. To be able to understand the whole story you need to access a variety of news outlets. I watch BBC News, Al Jazeera and Bloomberg daily as well as browsing tech news websites, Foreign Policy and news stories that pop up on my social feeds. If I'm honest I do tend to find out about stories first on Twitter, as is the nature of news now, but I don't solely get it from there.
Lecturers and employers will expect you to know about news stories before the populous, so you need to take time to find it out. You don't have to sit in front of the news all day or read a whole paper, most outlets repeat stories every hour and all newspapers have websites now (Think the telegraph not The Sun). Also students can get a great deal on The Times.
Be (A Bit) More Professional Online
Its ok to share your drunken photos on private channels, but make sure they are private. Make sure that your Facebook photos are all private, if your older albums wont allow you to change them make them secret. Ok so your pals wont be able to go back and look at nights out, but at least your boss wont either. Think about what you write on Twitter, I refer to mine as semi-professional as I do swear and don't just tweet about business but I also tweet about business and a lot of news. I use it as a platform. You could be private, but instead just keep it clean. Bonus tip- Don't complain about your lecturers if your profile isn't private because they can check and they won't be at fault for doing so!
Talk to everyone, go to every business event going and use your social media wisely. If you're at an event and there's someone there that could help you in some way, introduce yourself. Follow key people on twitter and don't be afraid to interact with them. This is especially important if you're thinking of taking a placement year, as people are more likely to go with those they know.
Know What's Happening In Your Area
Know whats happening in your local area, what's popular and what you can do to make you stand out. Get involved in things you're interested in even if they're not directly involved with your subject, they could lead to great opportunities and more people will know your name. These could be useful contacts in the future.
If you didn't think I'd include this, then you are very mistaken! Blogging has opened so many doors for me and I know a lot more about pr and media from having been on both sides of the fence. I have experience of working as a professional promoting and attending events and being marketed to and going to events and this has given me some great insights. Blogging also helps you get your name out there as a writer and marketer.
What tips would you give to PR and Media students? Or students in your own field?