As a younger public relations student, I am constantly searching for ways to learn more about the industry and immerse myself in public relations. Just like athletes, say a soccer player,here is how I am staying on my public relations game this summer.
Reading through Issues & Trends: On your lunch break, try and read at least three articles from the daily emails that the PRSA sends out. The emails normally come around 8 am central time. This way you can see what other public relations professionals find important. Just like a soccer player should follow league news in order to see who the competition will be next season, you should be up to date on industry trends and issues.
Internships: Whether or not your internship is paid, this is a great way to hone your skills. Just like a soccer player has to practice and learn from older players, this is your time to practice. If you make a mistake, ask how they would have done it and why. Instead of just learning the steps, learn the reasons why the task is completed with those steps. A soccer player in order to play in the major leagues has to master their fundamentals, a public relations student needs to master the fundamentals of day to day tasks.
Projects As someone who is passionate about the PRSSA, there are lots of options for you to stay sharp. You could write for Progressions, discuss with your president about starting a student-run firm, or attend local PRSA events to network. Just like a soccer player practices during the off season, use summer to make weaknesses strengths and add skills to your resume.
While you hone your public relations skills, build your professional portfolio and resume don't forget to enjoy yourself! Public relations is a 24/7 industry and passion, but as college students it is important to start thinking about a work-life balance.