How to Build Your Image and Network For Success in the PR Business


If you’ve just started out in the PR business, or perhaps you’ve been doing it for a while, you may know that networking and building your image is one of the key factors to having a successful career. Without good networking skills, you may find that you have less clients, your business doesn’t grow or perhaps you don’t feel like things are working as they should. You may also feel like you’re not getting ahead in the role and this can be disheartening, no matter what job you have. So, what are the key do’s and don’ts of working in PR? We look at some of the common mistakes people make in this industry.


Do be a sponge

In order to stay ahead in the game and understand your role, it’s important to always be learning. Whether it’s as simple as reading news articles and posts about successful marketing and the PR industry, this is going to help you immensely. Always be learning and always be curious. Drink in the knowledge and use it to your advantage.

Do keep up to date with the news

The news may not be your first choice when switching on the TV or opening a web browser, but it’s important to always stay in the loop. One of the easiest ways you can do this is to set up an RSS feed or news alerts for your company and your clients. Watching the news, reading the news (either in print or online) will ensure you’re always on the ball as to what is happening around the world. This will never be a waste of time as you’ll be investing in yourself, enabling you to stay interesting and knowledgeable.

Do learn to juggle

We don’t mean buying a set of juggling balls and auditioning for the circus next time it comes through town. What we mean here is juggling tasks. If you’re time poor, this is an area where you could be failing. Tighten up your schedule and take a good look at your time management skills. If you’re constantly procrastinating and deadlines are always sneaking up on you faster than expected, you may want to work on your juggling skills and look at how you can work on numerous projects at once.

Do be the solutions person

One thing a boss is going to look for is someone who can provide the answers and solutions to the problems that inevitably arise. You don’t necessarily have to provide the answer that is chosen, however being up front and proactive in your role is going to get you noticed and consequently build your image in the industry. Managers like to see someone who is on the ball and is looking for resolutions, so work on being that person.

Do keep a level head

The industry can get hectic at times and being stressed out and unable to cope with the turbulence bad trait to have. The best thing you should do is learn to stay calm, focus on solutions (as above) and stay level-headed. Your ability to work well under pressure and cope in stressful situations can either make or break your reputation.


Don’t forget about your looks

As shallow as it may seem, your appearance will still get you ahead in the business. Whether you agree or not, looks and appearance make a big difference to your reputation and ability to network successfully. Be sure to keep your appearance neat, tidy and professional at all times. Don’t forget about your body language and posture, as well as the clothes you’re wearing.

Don’t dismiss people if they don’t look important

Although you’re looking after your appearance, it’s also important not to dismiss those you are networking with if they don’t look like they’re important. This is especially true at networking events where you should behave like every single person has the potential to get you where you want to be. Treat everyone with respect and that they are all important to you because at the end of the day, they probably are.

Don’t expecta job

Although networking aims to provide you with new job prospects, don’t expect it to happen overnight. It’s also important not to act as though you’re only talking to people just to get your next job role. You may be speaking to a key person because you know that they have the contacts to get you in touch with someone, but if they feel like you’re only using them to get closer to someone else, they’re less likely to want to help you out.

Don’t buy cheap business cards

For a start, don’t forget them in the first place. If you want to be able to network and let others know who you are, always have business cards with you. As well as this, ensure you spend a little bit of extra money on getting professional looking cards that are of high quality. If you don’t, you risk creating an image that your work is also low quality. If you forget a business card entirely, you also then have to deal with the embarrassment of trying to find a pen and a scrap of paper to share your details (a huge no-no).

Don’t forget about social media

A lot of people think social media has nothing to do with your job or your reputation or perhaps your Facebook posts can only ever do more harm than good. Truth is, a lot of prospective contacts and employers will look at your social media, so why not make the most of it? Sites such as LinkedIn are perfect for networking. You can add as much or as little information to your public profile and can connect with others in the industry. However, always remember to follow up on these connections to help fuel your relationship and contact list.

A successful career

PR can be a very rewarding career. If you follow the above tips then you are sure to create a professional and positive image for yourself and develop the networking connections necessary to get yourself ahead.

Or if you’re looking to get started in PR, be sure to check out what study options are available – ICI offer a comprehensive course for those looking to enter the Public Relations industry. Check out the course online here.

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Gladys Mae


Gladys Mae serves as the General Manager and Head of Student Services at the International Career Institute. Gladys holds a degree in Mass Communication - Broadcast Media from the University of San Jose-Recoletos. She joined ICI in 2010 and has over the past 12 years been instrumental in providing leadership and guidance to staff and students alike. Prior to joining ICI Gladys led a multifaceted career with key roles in the banking and business process outsourcing industries.