Social media, writing and the public relations job candidate

February 22, 2008 at 3:32 pm (development, social media) (, )

hand shakeThis blog is extremely beneficial to me – not for potential future employers, but for personal professional development. I agree with David Reich of my 2 cents. I don’t think I am a better job candidate because I am active in social media. I am a better job candidate because I have some public and people relations skills under my belt, as well as actively listen and learn about the profession.

However, researching and finding things to blog about have helped me come across the conversations that other public relations professional are talking about. It’s a way to keep myself updated and interact with others.

Reich talks about how the most important skill he looks for in a candidate is writing. He then says, “It’s an acquired skill that comes from studying how media stories are written, coupled with good on-the-job training.”

Maybe public relations students need the opportunity to partner or shadow with journalists to get a better understanding of what they look for and how they write. Or – maybe public relations students should be journalists first (but that’s a lot to ask for). I bet the best public relations candidate is someone who started in news or magazine or worked in a news office before.

Since I have little experience in the newsroom, I think blogging is the next best way to acquaint myself with public relations writing and development. I practice writing with each post, finding a working style and voice. I also submerge myself into the top issues and topics.

Although social media may not be the main attributes an employer looks for, it surely is a great way for public relations students to develop a better understanding of the field before entering the job market.

*Image courtesy of Flickr: SDPanek

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4 Comments

  1. Jason Whitmen said,

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Jason Whitmen

  2. David Reich - my 2 cents said,

    Sounds like you’re on the right track, Eileen. Good idea about shadowing. Or how about an internship?

  3. Eileen Chang said,

    David-

    Oh yes, as someone who has had previous internships, I should have mentioned that. Personally, I learned a lot about professionalism, business interpersonal relationships and the working environment as an intern. However, I still think that an intern or entry level public relations job candidate would benefit greatly, as well as have a little bit of an upper hand, with the opportunity to learn from the media directly before entering the market. If you take a look at my “Tips for getting media coverage” response post to Getting Ink, you’ll find that I enjoyed the fact that the tips were from a journalist, not just a public relations professional.

    Thanks for your perspective on social media and the job candidate. I will be sure to emphasize my fundamental public relations skills and add social media skills as the added cherry on top. =)

    Eileen

  4. Eileen Chang said,

    Jason –

    I’m a learning student, and I find it encouraging that other professionals recognize the work students put in to understand their industries. I’ve got you on my news feed as well. Thanks for your support!

    Eileen

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