Tips for Staying PR Sharp by Jerry Rizzo

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You did it!  Congratulations on your graduation!  This is undoubtedly one of the most proud moments in your life. As the excitement of your hard earned and long anticipated graduation day subsides some of you may be feeling a little bit lost and uncertain.  For public relations grads who are not immediately entering the field, this down time presents an opportunity to maintain and develop your skills amid your persistent job search.

Read! Read! Read!

Reading the news daily is the key to staying in the PR loop.  There are tons of online PR focused sources to make part of your daily reading menu and almost every one of them comes in the form of an iPhone/iPad app.  It’s also helpful to stay in the tech and gadget loop as well as the two industries become further infused.  I’ve included a few links to good starter sources that include both PR and Tech news.  Be sure to follow their accounts on Twitter as well.  Staying current will be important throughout your professional career, so why not start now?

http://www.prnewswire.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

http://mashable.com/

Blog and Microblog Daily

If you haven’t established yourself as a blogger or microblogger at this point, now is a great time to do so.  Your daily reading will help you generate some interesting content.  Create a blog that is genuine and relevant.  A lot of employers value avid bloggers and it doesn’t hurt to direct a potential employer to your blog site to view your posts.  You will be essentially knocking out three birds with one stone by blogging.   You will  be developing your blog, writing skills and understanding of current public relations topics.

Microblogging (Twitter, Tumblr., Plurk, etc…) is a great way to view news and participate in PR dialogue with the pros.  It’s also good to establish a credible presence on Web 2.0 by optimizing your profile with interesting and thought provoking content.  Employers also value social media sponges due to the results the social web has yielded in the last few years.

Pro Bono Publico

There are plenty of local non-profit organizations that would appreciate your skills.  Working with a local non-profit is a great way to give back and stay sharp.  Pitch local media about the great things that a local non-profit is doing or help them create a stronger online presence.  You may even find yourself going as far as helping plan an event.  By putting your skills to work you will be able to strengthen and gauge the areas where you want to improve.

Practice makes perfect, so if you find yourself in limbo these next few months use these tips to stay PR sharp in the meantime.

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