As an avid lover of everything and anything television and cinema-related with a recently un-closeted passion for creative campaigns and public relations, working for the entertainment industry from a public relations perspective is the dream. But how do you establish a successful career in such a daunting industry combined with an equally demanding profession? I’ve compiled a grand list of tips that others, including entertainment professionals, have wisely and wonderfully passed down to me:
- Don’t just excel at social media – master it: When it comes to following users on social media, choose quality over quantity. Hundreds of thousands of followers does not equal superior engagement. Focus your following attention on entertainment news as well as opinion leaders from the beauty, comedy and music industry, in addition to celebrities and interview content. While the number of followers to an account is often associated with its value, maintaining a competitive following ratio is far less important than the actual content you post. Remember to leave comments, especially in regards to customer service, and don’t be afraid to show off your sense of humor. Humorous content often reaches the most users because these posts are the most relatable, and sometimes, unexpected.
- Become a tastemaker. Tastemakers are the people you love and follow who influence what you strive to influence amongst your colleagues. In your quest to become one, remember to make all of your accounts public, develop a specific niche, start conversations, post content to YouTube, be authentic and don’t overshare.
- Intern! Interning is important in any profession, but having that extra chunk of experience is key to jump-starting your career in highly competitive industries like this one. But don’t just intern- work insanely hard at any internship you acquire and be sure to leave a favorable impression on your supervisor and colleagues.
- Your résumé is your call sheet. And the goal is to gain interest from anyone who could possibly hire you. Hiring managers often receive hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications for one position which means your résumé has to stand out. A few tips to spruce it up include being direct and to the point, including philanthropy and service work, mentioning study abroad and keeping it to one page. It’s also important to retire your .edu email address after college and remember to send personalized, hand-written thank-you notes after interviews.
- Be prepared. You can meet your future employer anywhere and anytime. Carry copies of your business card and résumé just in case you do.
- Have a high tolerance for lavish requests. Working in entertainment means the occasional run-in with a celebrity who may be the most humble and wonderful person in the universe…or they may have a ridiculous list of demands that you are responsible for fulfilling. If it’s the latter, complete each task thoroughly and with enthusiasm. It’s important to impress even when you don’t care to because you never know whose opinion will matter. And if that person holds any power at all, it is almost guaranteed that their opinion of you does matter.
- Eat, breathe, sleep public relations. Study the latest information and research, social media trends and campaigns, and current events and pop culture. Immerse yourself in industry news. Public relations should become a part of your day-to-day life so that you remain competitive in the industry by becoming a master of your craft.
- Passion trumps paycheck. Let’s face it, you entered this industry because you loved it, not because you were looking for an easy way to support yourself. Choose projects you are passionate about over those that earn you the highest paycheck. It’s easy to get discouraged in a cut-throat industry that always demands hard work but rarely promises sufficient compensation. Remind yourself why you entered this industry and continue seeking to involve yourself in what you love. Remember: your best work stems from your greatest passions.
These are just a few tips to help jump-start an amazing career in entertainment public relations. As you immerse yourself in the industry and continue to learn from experience, these concepts will become second-nature and you’ll uncover even more steps to success.
Twitter handle: @DeclanOHern