Public Relations for Charities and Non- Profits: An Interview with Heather Badenoch, Owner and Chief Strategist at Village PR
Written by Marley Lewington
Village PR acknowledges the challenges of figuring out where young public relations professionals want to take their career. Heather Badenoch, owner and chief strategist at Village PR, found her interest in public relations through her passion to help others. With this philosophy in mind, Badenoch offers some advice for those looking for a direction to take their career.
“If you want to figure out what your passion is and what field to get into – listen to the radio and pay attention to what makes you angry! Think about what topics you debate over with your friends. What topics do you rage about on Twitter?”
Once you find an interest you are enthusiastic about, it will help you focus your efforts as you develop your professional networks.
If you are passionate, motivated, and want to make a difference for a cause, working with non-profits and charities may be a fulfilling career for you.
For Heather, public relations in the non-profit sector is a fulfilling career choice and offers a wide range of opportunities. She believes it all depends on the path you want to explore, the lifestyle you want to achieve, and the experiences you wish to have.
Young public relations professionals and students have so much knowledge and potential, however getting started in your field of choice can be a challenge.
When asked for some insider tips and advice on succeeding in public relations upon graduation, Heather had some great things to say.
Heather’s Advice – What to Do
1. Find out what your niche and skill set is. Learn how to own it!
2. Start to understand how your community actually works and how you’d ideally like to see it work.
3. Volunteer to put yourself in the right places at the right times. You can do this by going to events, networking, and volunteering with organizations.
4. Be confident in your skills and don’t just tell people what they want to hear. Remember that you were hired for your public relations expertise.
5. Be yourself and show your personality in a professional and genuine way. It’s welcomed and encouraged to demonstrate passion.
Taking the right steps are important but avoiding basic mistakes are just as crucial.
Heather’s Advice – What Not to Do
1. Appreciate that networking is not just about job hunting, it is about getting to know people and building relationships too.
2. Never bring your resume to networking events.
3. Dress in a professional manner. When in doubt, think about whether your future boss would be able to have you in a room with a client. If the answer is no, it’s time to pick a new outfit.
4. Clean up your online presence. Do not post content online you wouldn’t want your boss or mother to see.