Friend and London colleague Saska Graville offers great advice in the article below to those looking to get ahead in the media business (or business in general): find role models who are authentic, confident and nice. And with good taste in shoes.
For a lot of aspiring PR consultants, though, the challenge is getting a foot in the door in the first place.
Here's what I suggest when the questions comes up when speaking to students (and it always comes up when speaking to students):
- Make something social. A blog, a themed Instagram feed, a pod cast, an attentive Twitter account. Doesn't have to be on PR - in fact it can be on anything that interests you (check out this fashion blog from a woman who's now one of our US summer fellows: http://www.thefashionspeak.com/) - anything that shows you're willing to wade out into the social media waters.
- Listen, connect and engage. Want to work in an agency or for a particular company? Follow their social channels, find out what they're talking about and contribute to the conversation.
- Get out there and introduce yourself/your work. Find professionals online you respect and when you've got something your proud of and that relates to their work (even tangentially) - a class project, your final dissertation, some research - send it over for any feedback they're willing to provide. Some won't bother to reply, but many will - and they're not likely to find your work on their own.
All of the outstanding women I met over the years, share a few key traits. They are authentic, connecting brilliantly with those around them by being themselves – and by being nice. They’re confident about their fields of expertise, not falling victim to the insidious ‘imposter syndrome’ that afflicts many women (disclaimer: it still gets me sometimes). They leave their egos at the door, always acknowledging the teamwork behind their success. They’re tough without being shouty, direct without being confrontational, and always empathetic. A lot of them were also very funny and wore great shoes.