The world of public relations is huge. With a PR presence needed in every single industry, it can be daunting for a young PR professional to determine how to start a career in public relations. Before I landed my first job at Crier, I found myself in the scary position of deciding the type of agency I wanted to kick start my career in communications with. My most influential professor taught me to always keep a list of PR campaigns that inspire me (something I still do), and eventually, I’ll realize what industry I should be working in.
Well, her advice worked! You see, I’ve always had an interesting relationship with food. After years of constantly being sick for seemingly no reason— I discovered that I have several food intolerances that have the potential to wreak havoc on my immune system. Dealing with that has made me come to appreciate food in a new way, and see it as not something to just be enjoyed, but also as medicine for your body. I learned how to be hyper-aware of food ingredients, brands that are safe for me to eat, and of food companies that are honest with consumers about what they are selling. For these reasons, most of the PR campaigns on that list of mine were for food.
So, breaking away from about 90% of my classmates who were studying to be the next hot Hollywood publicist, I decided to tell some food stories of my own, instead of just writing them down on a list. After working with our clients, I realized that our brands align exactly with the type of honest food companies that I choose to eat on my own.
Through this experience I’ve learned that connecting with an audience is much more attainable when working in an industry you know well. I’ve found that when bloggers and editors decline my pitches because they can’t eat gluten, it’s much appreciated when I can empathize with them, and just say, “Totally understand, I can’t either. I’ll start recommending you gluten free items from now on”. Those small instances have helped me foster relationships with media that I work with on an ongoing basis, and make me feel like my work has more value.
You never know when your personal experiences can lend this value to your clients. So, when looking for the perfect PR fit, take a look around at what kind of campaigns affect your own life and start from there!