By Anthony DeFelice
Every career person has a tool they couldn’t do the job without. Think of a plumber trying to work without a plunger or a construction worker without a hammer. The almighty cellphone is the public relations person’s totem. From answering emails on the go, taking photos at events, calling your clients, and posting on social, you can build an entire campaign with just the touch of your fingers. Just make sure to have a charger everywhere you go, and invest in the unlimited data plan…ain’t nobody got time for data overages.
A PR person’s version of a Bible is their planner. Having a good planner helps to keep track of your numerous appointments, meetings, appearances, and events, thus helping you keep some level of sanity. Either virtual or in paperback, get a planner and update it regularly – nothing’s worse than forgetting about an engagement to only remember it 10 minutes before it starts. Side note, Paper Source hosts a planner party twice a year. Yeah, it’s a thing.
While being in PR takes a village, a village of PR people without a pot of piping hot fresh coffee simply cannot function. From long nights writing event recaps to crack of dawn news segments, caffeine isn’t an option, it’s strictly mandatory. Pro tip, add Baileys, I won’t tell.
PR is definitely not a 9-5 desk job. You’ll constantly be on the move jumping from one meeting or appearance to another so plan ahead by stockpiling your car with some snacks. You could behave and get healthy veggie sticks and granola bars, or you could get my personal favorites, white cheddar popcorn and Snickers. Also, I suggest investing in some type of car trash can because wrappers scattered everywhere isn’t a cute interior.
Big ol’ Bag
To be prepared is to be successful in the world of PR. You never know what you might need at an event so why not bring it all? Unfortunately, the magical Mary Poppins purse doesn’t exist so an oversized bag will have to do. You’ll be surprised at the number of things you’ll have to lug around like flats, a complete travel sized version of your bathroom products, VIP wristbands, and more. Luckily, I hear IKEA bags are the hottest thing in fashion right now.
Public relations is not just a career title, but also a verb. “Doing” PR involves running across a banquet hall to get a photo, standing on a red carpet for hours waiting for a celebrity to arrive, and sometimes having to corral the general public (yes, PR can be a contact sport). Biggest tip, make the investment in comfortable shoes now. Thank me later.
There will be times when you start the day at a 7 a.m. interview and end with a cocktail party at 10 p.m. Start looking for pieces that are easy to transition from daytime business professional to nightlife chic. For me, my blazer was the staple that I could add or remove for versatility. Plus it made my closet look bigger than it really is, which isn’t a bad thing. Reminder, black goes with everything and never goes out of style.