You landed your first role as a public relations coordinator, now what? Strong communication skills are a prerequisite for working in PR, but from there, how can you further develop your skills? Aimee Adler Cooke, our Public Relations Lead, is here to let you in on some of the ways she’s excelled in her role over the past 20+ years.

Make Connections and Build Your Network

Building positive relationships with reporters is key to succeeding in the industry! One of the easiest ways to make connections with reporters and other PR practitioners early on is attending trainings, conferences, and seminars. Network with everyone you meet at those events. You never know when your paths may cross again. Once you start building your network of reporters, keep your media list up to date. If a connection you made has moved on to a different media outlet or covers a different topic, make note of it so you know who to reach out to when you have a story.

Follow Up- Even When Your Story Isn’t Placed

Even when you can’t help a reporter out on a story they’re currently working on, maintain that relationship because you never know when they might present the perfect opportunity to tell your client’s story. When that time does come, set a reminder to request feedback on your pitch so you can understand how you can improve in the future.

Stay in the Know

Read a magazine or newspaper with your morning cup of coffee or listen to a news broadcast or podcast during your commute or gym session. Working in these breaks throughout the day are so important to stay connected to the current news climate and what is actively being covered. It will help you identify possible stories for your client and help you learn what reporters cover which “beats” or topics. A bonus is that you’ll also be the first to know when a reporter covers a new topic or moves to a different media outlet- it happens more often than you think!