“Do what you love and love what you do” is one cliché that I have found to be accurate. However, I feel that it does have to be altered to “be a fan of what you do.” That’s right, a fan.
The past few years of my life have been marked by music, more specifically, being a music fan. This part of my life has propelled my PR experience and even inspired me to enter Temple University with a public relations major. I always wanted to know more about what goes into a music release: coordinating media interviews, promoting an album, creating an artist’s brand. My simultaneous involvement in PRSSA, Temple’s music business concentrated courses, and our campus radio station has provided me with the experiences to gain those answers (and I’m always ready to learn more). I have even had the opportunity to attend and cover press conferences with my favorite artists!
I am aware of the unflattering connotation of the word “fan,” especially in a professional sense. I think of fans in an alternative way. To me, the word “fan” is synonymous with passion, which is what every aspiring PR professional should have for the industry they plan on entering. For example, without my passion for the music industry, I would not have even sought out half of the opportunities that have been so beneficial and exhilarating to me.
My advice is to be a fan of the industry you want to enter. We are all fans of PR; however, it is such a broad field. This can be freeing, but also daunting when it comes to finding your place.
Figure out what you are a fan of. What makes you excited every time you think about it? Take some time to self-reflect. Ask yourself (and maybe your friends and family too) some questions about you:
You can be broad with your answers and work towards the specifics or vice versa. Say your answer is that you always find time to stay updated on the latest gaming news. What gaming news stories fascinate you most? Is it those about the latest releases, gaming system feature updates, or maybe gaming influencers? Then, research, research, research! Look at organizations within that industry, and the titles and positions of employees in that space.
While this is just a starting point, it allows you to funnel your interests into your career. Also, you never know how much your perspective as a fan can help an organization, especially when it comes to consumer or follower engagement. As long as you’re not having a huge fan freak-out moment on the job (definitely don’t do that), being a fan and a professional can, and should, co-exist.
Caitlin McGeehan is a senior public relations major at Temple University. She is Temple PRSSA’s digital publications editor and serves as an account executive in Temple’s Student-run Firm, PRowl Public Relations. She fuses her love of music with her PR experience as the promotions director and a staff writer for Temple’s campus radio station, WHIP Radio. In her free time, Caitlin spends time with her cat Louise and tap dances with the Temple Tappers.