Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
January 10, 2011

A New Year For A New Professional: PR Performance Planning

From control to collaboration, new PR professionals have an amazing opportunity in 2011 to make the transition from college to corporate a success. However, in the new economic reality, the change from a student to an incoming PR practitioner can be challenging.
Brandi Boatner
As college students, many of us had a routine- show up for class, get your syllabus and chose when to do the work given the deadline set by your professor. We had our study habits down (even if it involved starting at 2am) and we knew how much time it would take to actually finish our assignment. We were in control- or so we thought.

Now, welcome to the real world of agency life or corporate communications. Instead of having control of your work and your schedule, you now operate in a capacity of collaboration working together with clients, colleagues and consumers. Deadlines are now crucial- even more crucial than getting a grade in order to graduate.

In a time of uncertainty, as we enter a new year, you need a strategy for your public relations performance. Your plan can be a social media strategy or a brand strategy (for the brand that is “YOU”) but 2011 is your time to shine.

For 2011, focus on areas where you can strengthen your existing skills, learn a new skill or do something that will benefit both you and your company or client. Learn a language. We live in an increasingly global world and many clients and organizations we work for are global. You need to think beyond your headquarters and home office and think “glocal.”

As digital natives we understand how to use various social media tools but for the new year focus on being a social media strategist, identifying how and where social media adds distinct business value. Social media is shaping the field of public relations and as a new professional, you are in a position to be a part of history for the profession. Seize the opportunity and make 2011 the year of the next generation of PR leaders.

Brandi Boatner works at IBM in New York where she is a member of the Global Business Services communications/PR team. Her roles and responsibilities including media relations and social media strategies for IBM’s C-suite thought leadership studies, educating and training various industry subject matter experts in external social media tools and working with IBM’s Institute for Business Value.  A native of New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina survivor, Boatner is a recent Masters graduate of Hawaii Pacific University in Honolulu, Hawaii and a past president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

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