Creating content can translate your social media towards experience in the Public Relations industry.
As it seems harder and harder to find experience towards your career, you may be overlooking something right in front of your face. Gaining useful experience in the public relations industry is right at your fingertips, literally. Social media accounts for a way for friends, families and businesses to connect.
As social media grows, new advertising and marketing trends break through the clutter. Social media allows brands to connect with individuals through their feed along with other social media accounts. Since the start of social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, businesses turned their marketing strategies to adjust to the high volume of traffic on those social media platforms.
While social media practically raised Gen Z, many older professionals in the Public Relations industry and beyond don’t understand it in the slightest. This is where you come into play. And just like the Gen Z generation adjusts to social changes, businesses and their marketing tactics adjust as well.
Social media marketing continues to grow every day starting with well-known influencers such as Aimee Song and celebrities like Kim Kardashian West to micro-influencers like you and your friends. Micro-influencers, accounts with 10,000 or less followers, have higher engagement rates with a more defined audience than most influencers. According to a Forbes article on micro-influencers and marketing, a micro-influencer is an “approachable and relatable, with a smaller, yet immensely dedicated following.”
While experience is hard to find, social media marketing is your way to start your career in Public Relations. To start your career now, become a micro-influencer with the followers you already have. You already create original content and post with photos or videos you like the best, now practice making a pitch. Find a brand that fairly represents your style, personality and aesthetic and email or direct message a pitch to collaborate. Reach out to local shops and companies we all know and love, micro-influencers are at the top of the advertising chain right now.
Along with making pitches, over time, you may start to receive pitches. When you receive a pitch, notice what you do and do not like of each pitch. When you send pitches, keep those likes and dislikes in your head. Through this, you’ll slowly start to learn both sides of public relations and things will come full circle with how the social media marketing cycle works.
Since you’re already scrolling through social media every day, notice trends happening on your feed through businesses, celebrities and other influencers and micro-influencers. Not only will this keep you up to date with the social trends, but it will also allow you to create current and trendy content. This will draw more attention to your social media and ultimately lead to more brand partnerships.
Maintain relationships with the brands you work with. One day, you’ll graduate and will need a job, so connect with the brands and public relations team on LinkedIn and other social platforms that you work with now. This could turn into future employment opportunities whether that be through an internship or a full-time position. It’s best to maintain those relationships as they happen for future collaborations or future employment.
Most social media platforms offer social media analytics. Other tools such as Google Analytics also track analytics which is another advantage to be a micro-influencer and start your career in public relations. Analytics measure engagement, reach, website clicks and much more, being able to use and understand those analytics will help you make pitches and understand your audience which translates into useful actions.
Being a micro-influencer on social media will allow you to gain experience in the public relations industry from both sides of the spectrum. You’ll gain experience with making and receiving pitches, content creation and learn and analyze analytics from your social media accounts. It’s a simple way to practice public relations on yourself and study how it works with little to no experience at all.
Haylee Brenek is a senior at Ohio State majoring in Strategic Communications. In her free time, she participates as an account associate for The PRactice, attends PRSSA meetings and sits on the Publications Committee and also works towards starting her own magazine writing about art, music, fashion, travel and inspiration. Haylee hopes to work as an editor of a magazine or combining her interests of creativity and analytics into a public relations and advertising career in the entertainment industry.