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Need Career Guidance? Pose a Question to the“Ask the Experts” Forum

If you have questions about your job search, turn to our career experts and get the edge you need. Members of PRSA’s College of Fellows are ready and willing to help you with two programs:

Ask the Experts: Answers to quick questions about your job search. Examples include:

  • How should I respond to these types of interview questions: "Tell me about yourself” or "What are your salary requirements?”
  • How can I develop a network? Where do I start?
  • What am I doing wrong? I send out resumes but never get interviews.
  • How long should I wait after an interview to hear from an employer?

To ask a question, scroll down to the question form and fill it out. When you’re ready to submit it, click the "Submit Question" button at the bottom. Many of your questions may already be answered in the more than 300 responses listed below so you may wish to review them first.

Mentor-Match: In-depth coaching. Examples include:

  • Resume review
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There are currently 542 questions posted.

You are currently viewing questions 1 thru 5.

  posted: April 3,2014 10:08 AM -- submitted by: Toby Cooper
Q1: My name is Toby Cooper. I am a graduate from the University of North Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in English with a concentration in professional writing. I am currently taking a few in classes in public relations to gain some knowledge in PR.

I am wondering what would be the best way for me to get my foot in the door in the public relations field. I have had two internships both in the field of writing, but I am wondering is that enough for me to enter the field. Any advice?

A1: Toby,
Writing is one of the essential skills to work in public relations, but it is only a portion of the knowledge, skills and abilities that you will need. You might start by seeking out a public relations professional in your hometown, or an alum from your alma mater, who is currently working in public relations. Ask for 45 minutes of his/her time. You can meet either in person, or by phone. Make a list of key questions to determine what opportunities there might be in their geo-market for an entry level writer. What other skills/abilities might you need to get started in public relations. Make of list of your learning "gap" and begin to fill it--courses at the local community college, continuing education seminars and programs via PRSA or other public relations organizations. Once you have a better understanding of the full breadth and scope of public relations, you will be able to better position yourself to find a job that combines your writing expertise with other public relations functions. Good luck. Please call if you would like discuss more in depth.
expert response from: Deborah Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 20,2014 09:12 AM -- submitted by: mohd imran
Q2: I am bcom graduate from osmania university, worked six months under CA during graduation, then joined Thomson Reuters as finance analysts. I am going for further studies Canada for PG in business admin finance and banking. Could you advice me, how this programme will increase my employment opportunities in my own country when i return India. How can i grow in the field of finance fo i get oppurtunity to reach higher level after completing Post Graduation.

A2: Modh,
Our job board is to help people with public relations questions. It sounds like your area of studies is in finances and/or business. PRSA does not provide general career guidance outside the field of public relations. Good luck with your studies.
expert response from: Deborah Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 20,2014 09:08 AM -- submitted by: Lerzan
Q3: Hi from Istanbul,
I have a BA in visual media. I've worked as a journalists for 6 years, then I entered an aviation company as pr specialist and I've managed the dept. for 8 years. I worked for a newspaper as pr manager; a magazine as a publishing coordinator. Now I'm looking for a new challenging position in a global nongovernmental organisation. I'm wondering which qualifications do I require for the field and how can I adapt my exp. to this area? Thanks for your valuable help in advance

A3: Lerzan-While there are many skills that overlap between being a journalist and a public relations professional, there are also vast differences. If you are interested in transferring your journalism knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to a public relations job, I suggest that you take a course at your local university to learn more about public relations and the KSAs that we use in public relations. Perhaps you have access to a public relations organization in your city. Attend some meetings and do find someone who is currently employed in public relations in your city and ask for an hour of their time. Learn where the gaps are between your current knowledge and what you need to learn and skills you need to develop to transition to public relations. Good luck on your pursuit. Public relations can be a rewarding and fulfilling career.
expert response from: Deborah Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 20,2014 09:03 AM -- submitted by: Lisa
Q4: I'm helping my agency revamp our performance review system and am looking for any best practices or examples people are willing to share. I'd be interested in any samples or insights folks have, from agency or not, that might help us to move from a "look back" system to a "look ahead" system. I'm also particularly interested in any 360 degree feedback processes folks might be using, we know we'd like to add that component. Thanks!

A4: Lisa,
While public relations professionals work closely with human resource staff, performance review systems and best practices are more likely to come from another professional organization, SHRM--Society for Human Resource Managers. The public relations body of knowledge, or knowledge, skills and abilities do not focus on the reviews themselves. Public relations comes into play when you want to survey employees, or communicate a change in the process, etc. If you are looking for examples of how to communicate the pending change, please contact me off-line. Happy to guide you further.
expert response from: Deborah Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 14,2014 10:50 AM -- submitted by: rishabh nahata
Q5: can we study both engineering and ca together ??
also can what options i can prefer for studying for different courses together ..
i will be doing btech and iwant to study a different course simaltaneously..
also btech and law is a good choice or not can i study

A5: Your questions are outside the communications and public relations area, which is the purpose of this site.

Perhaps you should go to an engineering website and see it they have a similar site for that professional area.

Good luck,
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

  posted: March 14,2014 10:49 AM -- submitted by: Lourdes del Rio Valdes
Q6: I have been the managing director/Founder of a public relations firm since 2001. I want to transition to an agency or corporate setting. What is the best way to position my skill set, since I have done a lot. Prior to managing an agency I worked for the American Red Cross and directly handled the events for September 11. Thank you for your time.

A6: It sounds from this brief description that you have an interesting background. Are you a member of PRSA? If so, you could benefit from a mentor through the College of Fellows program. It's a benefit of membership. A mentor would be able to look at your resume, answer specific questions, even recommend a definite course of action based on you, your community, type of agency or corporation you're interested in, etc.

If you aren't a member, I recommend networking with other PR professionals and understanding what is happening in your community, what opportunities are available or may be coming available, etc. You might also want to attend PRSA or other like professional organization meetings.

Good luck,
Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA
expert response from: Margaret Ann Hennen, APR, Fellow PRSA

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