Guest blogger Julia McGowen currently works as scheduler and community outreach coordinator for a mayoral campaign in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She also serves as Chair of PRSA Houston’s New Professionals Committee. After graduating from LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication in 2013, Julia returned to Houston to begin her professional career as Manager of Marketing and Communications at The Health Museum.
Anyone that’s ever met a PR pro can tell you, we’re some of the most passionate people you’ll ever meet. Whether it’s pitching a front-page story, planning a community event, or discovering new tactics to implement, PR people constantly exude a certain energy that makes you see just how much they care about the cause they’re behind (and makes you want to get behind it too).
It’s no secret that the PR world can be a grind. We hold highly coveted positions that carry high levels of pressure. Many times, we receive little praise for large successes and major criticism for minor failures. PR pros are constantly stretched thin and must tackle a million different things on a daily basis. You must love what you do in this profession; the days will be very, very long if you don’t. This is why it’s important for us as PR practitioners, to constantly find passion in our work.
Below you’ll find a true to form PR guide to finding passion in PR.
Do your research
First, ask yourself, “What do I love?” “What are my hobbies?” Do you love books? Consider looking at publishing companies. Love activism? Look for positions within a cause in your community you support. With so many fields needing PR: corporate, nonprofit, entertainment/sports and everything in between, there’s no limit to how and where you put PR tactics into practice.
Once you’ve discovered what you’re passionate about, take the necessary steps to find a job with a cause or company that you love. Once you land that coveted position, start looking at the aspects of the job you love doing the most. Like drafting web copy? Let your boss know you want to take on more responsibility with your company’s web presence. Are you someone who loves to do background research? Offer to take up that task on your team’s next big project. Never stop taking action to find passion in your work.
You know what your strengths are and what you’re good at. Communicate that with yourself and with your supervisors and co-workers. You’d be surprised how many times your boss will work with your team to delegate tasks based on everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) tasks. Work is always done better when there lots of love put in behind it!
Step back and evaluate
As you grow, both personally and in your career, things change. You grow wiser, more experienced, and see shifts in issues and trends that come as time passes. Remember to take a step back every once in a while and evaluate your successes and failures, the things you’ve learned, and what you love today. It’s okay to see your passions dim and change, just carry that with you as you move forward in your career.
My favorite thing about my career in PR is getting to go to work every day and do work for a cause that I feel strongly about. Not only do I love the cause I work so hard for every single day, I also get to focus on using the tools I like best to get the job done – and that’s not something everyone can say about their job. This profession can be grueling at times but there’s nothing more rewarding than sharing what you’re passionate about and what you love with the world.