June 28, 2010
By Ashley Showen
As overachieving Scripps students, we tend to think that we need to be the best at everything. Our competitive nature drives us to overwork ourselves into oblivion, or at least get very little sleep.
What we must realize is that there is no possible way we can be experts in all aspects of our field. It is inconceivable that on top of taking 16 or more credit hours, working and attending meetings for the inevitably large number of organizations we belong to that we could ever stay up on all the latest trends and technology.
While it is great to have a broad knowledge base of what is going on in the industry, it is beneficial to choose a few areas in which to specialize. Employers and clients will be more impressed if you know one topic inside and out rather than knowing just the basics of a bunch of different topics and sectors of the industry.
If you decide you have a knack for sports and want to get into sports PR, become an expert in all aspects of sports. If you decide you want to get into political communications, follow local and national campaigns and get a political communications certificate. If you want to be a social media guru, get certified in Google AdWords or learn everything there is to know about ROI (Returns On Investment) and other analytics.
As we begin the new year with ImPRessions and you start working with your client, become an expert in their fields. Not only will the knowledge help you serve your client to the best of your ability, but it will help you decide what sector of PR you want to go into.
My advice is to find what you are truly passionate about and learn everything you could ever hope to know about it. For me, that has become health care and theater. For both, I try to read about those specific beats in the news and immerse myself in the industries in whatever ways I can.
What are you passionate about?