My first month as a PR girl has been nothing short of evolutionary.
I studied Public Relations in college; I took all the courses, wrote all of the mock press releases, the mock pitches, I did the internships, participated in the clubs and the PRSSA and immersed myself in every lick of experience I could get my hands on. I knew PR was what I wanted my career to be. It was my dream to be a publicist ever since I took my first introductory PR class and I looked for opportunities everywhere. I started following JMG PR on Instagram about a year ago and always found myself perusing their page, reading Jenna’s blogs and fangirling in amazement from miles away at the inspiration of a young female entrepreneur who started her own public relations company. What a badass. I looked up to her and her company and imagined the countless things I could learn from her.
On a snowy February morning, I was mindlessly scrolling through Instagram before heading into work. The pictures were the same as they always were; friends, family, memes, dogs and then a beautiful picture of a snow frosted New York City skyline. I stared at that picture and imagined myself there, in the city, walking into the office of JMG Public Relations, instead of sitting in my parked car in my podunk town. It seemed like a pipe dream; I immediately told myself that I could never do that. I could never make it there. Jenna would never hire me.
Then it hit me. What’s the worst thing that could happen? You send an email into the void and it goes unanswered? There are plenty of worse things and not trying is definitely one of them. So, I did the thing that scared me the most and I crafted an email to Jenna and I listed all of my experiences and all of the reasons why I would be a good addition to her team. Almost 6 months after that snowy February day, on a beautiful August afternoon, I am writing my first Secret Life of a PR Girl blog at my desk in JMG PR’s office from the perspective of an Account Executive.
My transition to the city was not an easy one by any means. I don’t think any transition like that can be easy. With the commute and the life-changes and adjustments, it’s hasn’t always been sunshine and roses. One time I took the subway in the wrong direction and ended up in Harlem. But it’s always been worth it. Everyday I get to come to work in a city I’ve dreamt about and learn from the person that I have admired for so long.
In college, professors teach you how to draft a press release and what items should go into a swag bag. They groom you to research and give you books and examples but seldom do you get the full scope of what PR really is. You can create mock press releases and pitches until the cows come home, but no class can give you the rewarding feeling of sending your first real pitch to a news editor. Like many things that happen when you get into the real world, you learn that things are much different outside the classroom. PR is one of those things.
PR is more than one campaign at a time; it’s managing multiple clients, prioritizing tasks and knowing what angle is going to best meet your client’s needs, as well as the editor you’re pitching. It’s picking up the phone and calling reporters and connecting with them for the 5 minutes that they’re available and making the most of that time so they want to feature your client. It’s finding the right media outlets, diving into their contributors, pulling a list of potential people and pitching out your client. It’s scheduling your client for an interview, helping them prepare and making sure everything runs smoothly; sometimes, it’s even lending them your chapstick. It’s introducing yourself to a room full of editors and writers and leaving a lasting impression so they remember you for next time. It’s saying “let me help you help me” and seeing your client smile through a monitor on the other side of a camera for an interview. It is so much harder than I was ever prepared for in college and it is the most satisfying thing I’ve ever done.
Within my first month, I’ve met clients, written press releases and pitches, attended red carpet events like the BELLA Magazine 7th Annual White Party, I’ve formed relationships with journalists, created a way to measure PR efforts and gotten press coverage published. I am learning new things every day and being challenged in the most rewarding way. Every day is something different; a new pitch, a new project, a new opportunity to learn.
My first month as a PR girl has been an incredible experience and I owe that to Jenna. Becoming a member of JMG’s team is one of my proudest accomplishments. I have already learned so much and I know that with Jenna as my mentor, I will go so much farther as a publicist. I am excited to see what the future holds for me as a PR girl.
The NEW #SecretLifeofaPRGirl Team Member (aka Lauren)