The thing that I love most about public relations is the broadness of the career paths you can take. You don’t have to stick to one industry — you can take your talents to the fashion industry, the tech industry, or even to the sports industry.
As a PR professional who is interested in sports, I’ve always wondered how I can break into the sports industry. From what I’ve learned and researched, there are several basic skills that will be beneficial in any position. Some of these skills include interpersonal communication, social media knowledge, writing, researching, time management, and creativity. Take the time to identify which skills you have already developed, and which you need to work on.
Once you have identified your skills, look for internships with sports teams or leagues that align with your capabilities while also giving you the opportunity to grow. According to Indeed, an internship “can offer a beginner in a career field practical experience within a professional role.” To find an internship, you can attend sports conferences, job fairs, use Teamwork Online, or visit the team/league’s website.
While looking for experience, keep in mind that some jobs require a portfolio, so it’s smart to look for internships that can help you develop your own. According to Pitch Consultants, “A good portfolio should contain a variety of work to demonstrate writing, strategic thinking, and client service skills.” A portfolio can also contain creative work; it just depends on what job you’re searching for within the industry.
Pitch also notes that “good portfolios are always evolving [and] you need to be constantly on the lookout to ensure that it’s showcasing your best work, even if you’re not actively looking for a role. Nothing is permanent and nor should your portfolio be.” Further, Jobs in Sports emphasizes that “Having a portfolio with relevant experience can help grab the attention of big companies,” so if you are interested in entering a specific sector of PR, you should look for opportunities that align with those interests. Then, whenever you apply for a new opportunity, you should update your portfolio to showcase the experience you’ve had that is most relevant to the position for which you are applying.
One thing to keep in mind during your experiences as an intern is to make sure you are networking with professionals in the industry to create a web of connections. Those connections could help you secure jobs in your desired industry, which may be very beneficial in the future.
Katie Holec is a student at The University of Alabama working to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in communication and information sciences with a major in public relations. Her interests include sports management, graphic design, and social media.