How much can you REALLY prepare for your first “big-kid” job? You can buy multiple business outfits, a shiny new planner and practice your job jargon in the mirror. No matter what career you step into, you’re no doubt going to feel lost your first couple weeks.

I graduated from college in 2017 with a degree in Digital Media Production (AKA I knew absolutely nothing about Public Relations). While frantically searching through LinkedIn, I stumbled upon a public relations assistant position at Socialworx Public Relations. I had just moved back to Kansas City and was sending out what felt like a million applications a day.

I was persistent with interviewing, checking in multiple times and bam! I got the job. My first week I spent a lot of time scrambling to learn the essence of what I was doing (Yes. I Googled the definition of public relations). The other half of the time I was triple checking everything I did to make sure I wasn’t messing anything up beyond repair.

I’ve decided to take a vow to help other poor interns and new-starts in the public relations field with some helpful advice. With these tips you won’t have to nod/smile and pretend you understand what your boss is saying, you’ll actually know something. You may even slightly impress your boss by having prior knowledge about the public relations world.

Tip #1: Read and sign up for e-newsletters to the top public relations websites and blogs. I read Spin Sucks and the Cision Newsletter every day – along with others. They have media updates, as well as great tips and tricks from the PR Field.

Tip #2: Research how to pitch for a client. Read every article and watch every video on it possible. Practice, and practice again. This Pitching Secrets You Tube video by Michael Smart is extremely helpful.

Tip #3: Start establishing a relationship with local journalists. Follow them on ALL social media and comment and like on their recent posts as much as possible. You want them to recognize your name, so when you do finally shoot them an email, it won’t be as cold, and they are more likely to open it.

Tip #4: Become familiar with all social media platforms algorithms. They are continually changing, and it is crucial for you to know the best way to engage with your followers, when and how they like to receive information. Social media is an essential tool in communications.

Tip #5: This seems pretty obvious – but research the company you are going to work for. Who are their past and current clients? What are their processes and have they been in the news? Who are the CEO’s of existing clients and what is their business and who are their clients? Know what ROI and KPI mean. Figure out how your skill set is going to impact the company and, in turn, how you will affect the clients in your new company. Always be communicating, reading and learning. Check out their social media sites, read articles about them and ones they’ve written. Have ideas ready for pitches for them and never be late, never forget your charger and never give up.