The Experience of Working In Public Relations
By: Ajel Balan
Photo Credit: Cassie Semyon
One of the many benefits of being a Media and Communication Studies major is the diversity of careers you can choose from. From being a copywriter to running human resources, this major allows for a broad selection of paths for you to follow. One popular choice for MCS majors is Public Relations – or PR for short. Bradley Ingram ('18) is one of those UMBC alumni who graduated with his MCS degree and chose the path of public relations. He is currently working atZeno Group as Account Supervisor in their Health and Wellness Practice. Outside of work, he loves exploring new restaurants, partaking in photography, golfing, and cheering on UMBC's sports teams.
Ingram's path is one with many turns, working for big and small agencies alike. He helped a number of clients of all business sizes. He had gained his experience outside of the classroom through working internships, one company he worked for beingLightGrid LLC. He would also develop his skills through working with UMBC's Retriever Weekly and Student Life. These roles range from media relations, crisis communications, corporate communications, to even a combination of all three.
One of the big challenges when it comes to getting into the field, according to Ingram, is getting that first internship. The field of PR is quite competitive, so it may seem very hard to have yourself stand out. Despite this, Bradley notes that your first job is not your last job, and that any experience, be it in or out of school, is a good experience. Another struggle that may happen when starting out is the pacing. “The news cycle and projects”, he comments, “are not confined to a 9-5 workday and getting used to a faster pace environment can be an adjustment”.
For current MCS students wanting to take this career path in PR, Bradley recommends using the news as your best resource. "Staying on top of national, local, and industry specific news will help you not only stay informed, but also understand how stories are written and what kinds of stories get picked up." He adds, "This doesn't mean reading the Washington Post from cover to cover, but developing a regular appetite for consuming the news will serve you throughout your career." Some newsletters he recommends subscribing to are Morning Consult and Axios – as they are bite sized ways to get your daily news that take only a few minutes. He also recommends reading industry publications like Ad Age andPR Week, as well as going to The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) events to learn from PR professionals.
Posted: May 1, 2023, 3:34 PM