My Top Advice for Launching a Career in Communications and PR

Like many seasoned practitioners, I’ve often been approached by individuals seeking advice as they begin a career in the field of corporate communications and public relations (PR). Usually, they ask for my opinion on what it’s really like to work in this profession day-to-day or the best way to build a successful and fulfilling career.

There are loads of advice and numerous suggestions out there which are generally spot on. However, I always offer the caveat that there are certain factors making each experience unique. Things like geographic location, corporate culture, business or industry focus, company size, and executive leadership are just a few circumstances that can individualize an experience, for better or for worse.

For me, I came into the field in a non-traditional manner versus a more direct route. I didn’t set out to be here, but this is where I ended up. I actually prefer that this was an evolution for me as I think that brought me greater insights into people, the role, and the clients I serve.

Based on my personal experiences, as well as those I know in the industry and the paths they forged, I’ve compiled my best advice for anyone wanting to launch a career in corporate communications and PR.

Reinvention | Big ‘R’ vs. little ‘r’

re·in·vent, v. — meaning, to make major changes or improvements to (something): to present (something) in a different or new way.

I’ve always loved the idea of reinvention. Examining who we are today and where we want to go tomorrow. Renewing ourselves, our careers, personal brands, businesses, private lives—whatever it may be. It’s an opportunity to edit how we define ourselves or how others perceive us, offering a clean slate, and telling a new story. It can be exhilarating, therapeutic, and provide to us renewed energy and enthusiasm.

It can also be overwhelming, scary, challenging, and met with resistance.

When we attempt to make large or drastic changes in our lives, those around us may not be ready, or may not understand what we are trying to achieve. Maybe they liked the old version better. Maybe they were comfortable with our lack of success, making them feel better where they were. Or maybe it’s simply too much for them to handle all at once.