My First Week as PR Coordinator

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My First Week as PR CoordinatorLindsey Stokes

I know almost everyone says that the first day at a new job is the hardest…well I bet no one ever said they had a bad first week.

Monday- 10:00 a.m. Let’s start from the beginning. When I got the news that I would be joining The MEPR Agency, I was so excited! It would be my first real “big girl” job after college and I couldn’t wait to put everything I learned to use. From the beginning, Kia made me feel so at ease. I never imagined having a boss that would be so understanding and helpful.

Day one came and I quickly learned that the world of PR was running at a much faster pace than I had imagined…needless to say I wasn’t expecting it. At 10:00 a.m. I had an already growing to-do list on a program that I had never even heard of, much less knew how to use. My email account wouldn’t allow me to log in either! As you can already see this day wasn’t running very smoothly. After what seemed like 1,000 questions via Google chat, I began my first task as a PR Coordinator, pitching.

Pitching seemed, at the time, a very basic task. The media are the ones who make it possible for PR to exist, so I had to give them something that they wanted to write about. I got right to work on writing my first pitch and quickly sent it to Kia for approval. It wasn’t quite what she was looking for, but she wanted me to start sending it anyway. I got through about 15 emails before it was time for me to stop for the day. I breathed a sigh of relief and vowed that tomorrow would be a better day.

Tuesday – 9:00 a.m. Tuesday came and we were set to meet with a client at News Channel 5 to tape a segment called Urban Outlook. My drive from Murfreesboro is only about 30 minutes, so naturally I left and hour early rule out the chance of being late. I was also driving my boyfriends Jeep Wrangler so I was being extra careful. I got to the studio around 8:45 and luckily found a great parking spot just outside the front doors. The next sentence is very important so read carefully. ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS make sure that the parking brake is on before you take your foot off the break!  I rolled his car into the back bumper for a Cadillac CTS. It was the worst possible start to my morning. I managed to get it taken care of quickly and hurried into the studio so as not to be late. It was the first time I had been in a news studio so I didn’t exactly know what to expect. The taping went great and our client got 11 minutes of exposure that will run on Channel 5 all month long!

Kia made sure that I knew what was going on the rest of the week and that she preferred quality over quantity so not to rush through the pitches just to get finished. I finished up the pitches for my first client that day, and I honestly felt like I was on top of the world. I was so confident in what I had done and couldn’t wait to get started that next day!

Wednesday 9:00 a.m. Wednesday started with a long phone conversation with Kia on the importance of personalizing each and every pitch to the outlet or writer. Why hadn’t I thought of this before?! It made so much sense to me now, or so I thought. I took a lot of time to research each outlet and wrote, what I thought, were good pitches. It still just wasn’t right. I was getting so frustrated and discouraged with myself. Why didn’t I understand the right way to write a pitch? I felt like I spent 4 years in college studying PR for nothing.

I had my first good cry that day (by no fault of Kia). I felt so good to get it out. I hoped that after my first week that Kia wouldn’t lose faith in me, when in reality I knew she wouldn’t. It was my first job and I was trying so hard to make everything perfect that I may have forgotten to calm down and just breathe.

I’m taking a short break from pitching and working on other things so let's hope that when I give it another shot I’ll knock it out of the park. There is always tomorrow and it can only get easier from here, right?!

Thursday 9:00 a.m. I logged into my email only to find my first reply to one of my media pitches!!!!!!!! Words can’t say how thrilled I am. Not saying that my pitches don’t still need some work but this is what I needed to pull myself back up! What a great way to end my first week!

Top 3 things I took away from my first week: 1. PR is an extremely fast paced industry. You have to be able to keep up! 2. Learn to make connections with the media! They are the ones who get the story out there. 3. A good cry once and awhile always helps! Something good may even happen afterwards to make everything worth it.