In the world of PR and marketing, you choose early – generalist or niche. In other words, you are open to working in any client category, or you hone one specific subject matter expertise. Understanding each client’s specific industry and what keeps them up at night is an important part of succeeding, but it’s also about finding your passion.

From food and beverage, to fashion, tech, or health, digging into the competitive landscape and overall industry is the first step to producing great work. At R/West, joining the wine team meant diving head first into the industry and becoming immersed in the culture. I learned a few things along the way.

 

Here are three tips for any PR newbie to kick off their journey:

  1. Get Smart.

Immerse yourself in your new industry by researching online, reading trade publications and blogs, taking classes and attending industry events. Google is a good start, but use this simply as a staring point. For me, Google research led to helpful online wine classes, where I learned the 4 S’s of wine tasting – see, swirl, smell, sip. These basic steps helped me increase my appreciation for wine tasting and dip my toe into Wine 101 learning.

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2. Grab a friend.

Learning a new subject is always less intimidating with a partner in crime. Not only are you more motivated, you also gain a different perspective by exchanging creative ideas. My first day at R/West included happy hour, tasting wine with my new colleagues and discussing the different flavor profiles we experienced. Not a bad first day! Explore various industries by going to a tech show or a fashion museum with a friend to make your learning adventure more fun and approachable. It’s also a great way to make new work friends!

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3. Stay hungry.

Keep up with relevant events and stay hungry for new information. There is something new to learn everyday. Staying current will help you think ahead and stay on top of new trends that may affect your client. Subscribe to niche blogs and publications, such as Shanken News Daily, Tasting Panel and Beverage Media for the wine industry, and follow social media influencers on Twitter and Instagram (oh hey 1WineDude and Dr. Vino!).

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Bottom line, you will be more successful working in an industry and area of passion. Explore several industries by raising your hand whenever a new client opportunity or learning experience arises. With enough research and exploration, you will find a niche you love and develop valuable expertise! And seriously, who wouldn’t want to do a little wine discovery?

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Written and Illustrated by: Judy Kwon, Account Coordinator