PR Fundamentals: Public Relations - How to Get Into It

By Tiara Ogabang

It all starts with curiosity 

If you find yourself curious about public relations work, what it really involves, and how it’s done, then you’re in the right place. 

We’re going to be talking about public relations, how to get into it and how to start your career in PR. 

There’s a lot to talk about here and we’ll do our best to touch on several very important topics. 

We’ll begin with different ways you can educate yourself on the ins and outs of public relations before you get your first PR job so that you’ll be well-prepared. 

Then we’ll look at networking efforts you can try at any point in your career, and finally, we’ll end with suggestions for securing your very first job in the PR industry. 


Trying to enter PR with no prior knowledge of the industry’s intricacies is highly unlikely. Thankfully, there are different ways to learn all you need to know about public relations.  

In-person college programs 

The most traditional route for learning about PR work is to attend an in-person higher learning institution. 

Many colleges and universities now offer advanced programs in marketing or specifically in public relations

If you’d like to attend a program that is especially well regarded, we ready to pay for the privilege. 

Once you’ve been admitted to a program, you’ll need to dedicate yourself to your studies and absorb as much information as you can.


If you fall behind in a particular class, reach out to your professor and ask whether the school offers any tutoring services. 

Having a PR-related degree when you graduate and are ready to enter the workforce will be a huge advantage when you start sending out applications. 

Remote higher education 

With the help of an internet connection, it is now possible to earn a college degree without ever setting foot on a college campus. 

There are many online-only college course offerings today, as well as online programs offered by institutions that do have a physical campus. 

All you need to do is complete your course work on time and maintain good grades. This can be an ideal approach if you work a full-time job or if you have other obligations that prevent you from attending college in-person. 

One of the only significant downsides to this method is that if you benefit from attending real-world classes and lectures, you might have a difficult time focusing on your schoolwork when the only person holding you to it is yourself. 

Independent study 

Independent study can be an effective way to learn a lot about the public relations industry, and no, when we say independent study we’re not talking about your high school class on contemporary pottery. 

Doing your own research into PR is the perfect way to move at your own pace, but it also doesn’t include some of the most important benefits of getting a college degree. 

Yes, you’ll still be able to find some very valuable information about the public relations industry and day-to-day PR work, most of it online. 

But you might have a hard time proving your knowledge to potential employers since you won’t be able to list a college degree on your resume. 

Join the community 

Whether you haven’t yet entered the PR industry for yourself or if you’re an old PR pro, there are so many benefits to joining the community of PR professionals. 

Let’s look at a few different ways you can do just that. 

Make friends and professional contacts 

No matter your situation, there are always ways to make friends in PR as well as professional contacts that might come in handy months or years down the line.

Join the community

Check your local area for meetups designed for young professionals. Depending on where you live, you might even be able to find meetups specifically meant for PR professionals and those interested in PR as a profession. 

From there, just be consistent. If you attend events like these often, people will get to know you and before you know it you’ll have friends in PR. 

Attend conferences 

Conferences are a much more formal (and a much more expensive) way to do some professional networking in the PR industry. 

These events are typically held at large hotels or even resorts, and the main goal is for like-minded professionals to get to know each other and enjoy some downtime. 

Many PR-related conferences also offer lectures, talks, and panel discussions that will teach you some very crucial concepts about the nature of PR and how you can work your magic in the PR industry. 

Start your career 

Before we go, let’s talk about ways to really get your career started in earnest. Please note that, as we mentioned earlier, without proper training and education in the area of PR, it will be significantly more difficult for you to secure a PR job. 

It’s definitely still possible, but you’ll need to prove your value as a PR professional and show that you’ll know how to handle many different situations that you might encounter in this line of work. 

If you have already earned a PR degree, then you’re off to a great start, and you should make sure that any potential employers are aware of your education level. 

Look for internships 

Since most professional internships are unpaid, the barrier for entry isn’t quite as high as that of a regular PR job. 

This makes internships a great option for anyone hoping to get a foot in the door without any prior PR experience. 

That said, there will still be a fair amount of competition for any PR internship you might find, so you’ll still need to prove your professional value and your ambition. 

Scour job listings 

If you have a degree and an internship under your belt, then you’re in a perfect position to keep an eye out for relevant listings on job sites.

Start your career

Set notifications for terms like, “PR,” “marketing,” and “public relations.” 

You don’t need to apply to every single listing you find, but it’s a good idea to send out more applications than you think you might need. 

All it takes is one successful interview to really get your PR career off to a great start!