PR AGENCY DIARIES: HOW TO THRIVE IN A FAST-PACED WORK ENVIRONMENT

So, you successfully navigated years of media and communications study, manoeuvred living out of home and completed a PR internship that put you through your paces to help land your dream job?

Well done, you made it! Now the hard part begins.

Whether it’s keeping up with who’s who in the influencer space or mastering the latest social media platforms (TikTok, anyone?), the public relations game is ever-changing and new employees are expected to find their feet – and fast.

From packing press kits and preparing event props to wowing journalists with punchy pitches, expect to be a jack of all trades and get it done.

Here are Undertow Media’s top tips to staying afloat when the agency is humming and the workload is creeping up.

1. Organisation is key
From sticky notes and scheduled reminders, to fail-proof filing systems and concise checklists, ensure organised strategies are in place to ensure you don’t miss a beat! Set deadlines and allocate time increments to tasks so as not to spend too little or too long on a job.

2. Be a REALISTIC yes wo(man)
There’s no better way to show initiative and zeal by throwing your hat in the ring to have a crack at new things. However, be upfront about your workload and provide realistic timeframes so you don’t have to compromise on quality. If feeling snowed under or in a quandary, ask for help or delegate!

3. Dot the I’s and cross the T’s
Always close the loop. Never leave a colleague, client or journalist hanging. If you’re unsure of a response, check in and advise something more concrete is on its way. Stay on top of conversations and always read the entire chain – there’s nothing worse than asking a question that’s already been answered! Be a team player and keep your peers across all of the happenings.

4. Put in the extra time
Think that PR is all parties and people schmoozing? No Samantha Jones, you’re wrong. Prepare to hit pause on the date plans and pull up a pew. When it comes to events or (touch wood) a client crisis, staying late is a guarantee. Rather than allowing your load to linger, soldier into the office a little earlier or tick off some to-dos on a Sunday eve with a glass of red in tow.

5. Know your shit
Immerse yourself in all of the things. Watch the nightly news, scope out social media up-and-comers, sift through supplements, make hay on media friendships and keep your eye on the competition. Knowledge is power!

6. Have a hoot
As Steve Jobs once said, “the only way to do great work is to love what you do”. Take a moment to relish the highs and learn from the lows. After all, it’s PR not ER.