How to jump start your PR portfolio

Any student in the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications (UO SOJC) has heard the word “portfolio” a million times. Let’s face it… we all know how important a strong portfolio is to post-grad career success. But building a portfolio from the ground up can be overwhelming. Before you get started, here are a few ways create a solid foundation for your portfolio:

  • Search out work and internship opportunities
    Research opportunities with local businesses or student organizations. Could they use help with marketing or PR? Most likely, the various clubs and organization on campus are looking for a person just like you to jump in and help establish a presence online, through print or a physical campaign. This can lead to strong portfolio material and connections with a client you successfully helped.
  • Join a publication or start blogging
    Writing samples are one of the most important pieces of your portfolio. The University is home to many exciting student publications: The Daily Emerald, The Oregon Voice, Allen Hall Advertising, Flux Magazine, Envision, and the list goes on! Get involved and start writing. Or take matters into your own hands and start a blog!
  • Establish an online presence and network
    In addition to your physical work samples, make yourself discoverable online. Get yourself established on social media sites and use them regularly. A Follow professionals in your field, whether that’s political journalism, corporate relationships, or advertising for a niche field. Acquaint yourself with the “experts.” And don’t be afraid to start conversations with them!

These are just a few of the many ways to jump into building a portfolio. Find a subject you’re interested in and let it inspire your portfolio content. But remember: a portfolio isn’t static. Plan to revisit your portfolio often to add new material and refine old content, since staying up to date in this fast paced market is key!

Photo Credit: Kasaa via Compfight cc

Post by Samantha Hanlin, PRSSA member for the 2012-2013 school year. You can contact Samantha through our blog editor:!

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