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How to progress in a junior PR role

Do you feel like you’re not progressing in your role? Are you given the opportunity to grow? Are you trusted to lead on projects? These are questions we all ask, whatever stage of our career.

If you’re at the beginning of your public relations career, this is a time of growth and soaking up all the experience and mentoring you can. It’s a period where it’s okay not to know everything. It can also feel like a difficult time to advance your career. Here are four tips I’ve picked up during my time working in junior PR roles both in-house and agency side which will help you progress:

Be a strong independent PR professional

This is a classic one but equally a goodie and should never be forgotten. Being self-aware, self-monitoring and self-correcting all contribute to showcasing your independence at work. The ability to work independently will help prove to your manager your drive to get tasks done with a strong level of professionalism.

Make a conscious effort to understand how you work (your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes). Everyone works differently and identifying how colleagues can get the best out of you is key to a high-performing junior. Our team sat down during a training day and shared how to get the best out of each other at work. Harriet, our media guru wrote a blog about how understanding communication preferences can help teams strive.

Take initiative

Everyone says take initiative but what does that mean exactly? This means going above and beyond your expected deliverables. If you are supposed to write one blog post a month, instead write a second one. Do you see a problem or a process that could be improved? Have a discussion with your manager and see if there is anywhere you can help assist. Does it look like your manager is having a busy day? You can suggest helping them with tasks to ease their workload.

Taking initiative is all about being proactive versus reactive. If you can prove this characteristic to your employers, you’ll be sure to progress in your role.

Be passionate about quality

As you begin to take on more projects it is essential to ensure that your work is delivered to a high standard. If your increased workload is impacting the quality, you should flag this to your team. It’s better to have less on your plate and deliver quality results versus having a mass producing low quality work.

Managing quality will prove to your manager your attention to detail. A passion for delivering quality work influences your company’s reputation in the industry. This isn’t just important for junior level positions but all the way up to c-suite.

Relationships matter

It’s important to try to build strong work relationships within your team. Get to know their way of working and showcase your skills. Teams need to work in unison to maximise results and building personal relationships makes this smoother.

I came across a fantastic read in Forbes on seven ways to improve relationships at work. Definitely worth the read! Having a good relationship with your colleagues is just as important as your relationship with your boss as they both bring about plenty of benefits. When an exciting new project comes up and they need help, putting in the groundwork will increase your chances of being asked to assist.

If you combine all four of these tips to your day-to-day tasks, you’ll be sure to impress your boss. I encourage you start a dialogue with your manager and see where you can improve and reach success. Sometimes we can be unaware of areas of improvement and that’s okay. Ask to set up a meeting and have a healthy discussion on your progress. You can even try to have a bi-monthly or quarterly progress meeting to see if you are reaching your targets and goals.

Capitalise on this time in your career. It’s a time to grow, be curious, stay vibrant, and be ambitious. Never lose the drive to learn and improve yourself no matter what stage you are in your career!

Brittany started her digital communications career in Toronto, Canada and moved to London in spring 2018. Prior to relocating she worked in recruitment communications for the largest college in Canada. She worked on various marketing campaigns and assisted in the social media strategy and email marketing for the overarching brand. In her early career, she was part of a team at a bespoke digital and influencer agency. 

 Brittany is a client executive at Milk & Honey PR and can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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