5 Tips for PR pros transitioning between industries

March 17, 2015

Starting out in a new public relations sector can be daunting. It’s a whole new landscape to understand with different target publications, industry terms and key players. Coming from a consumer PR firm, I was excited, but nervous to transition to the technology sector. However, my internship at Metis has already taught me a lot about how to get a handle on this fast-paced industry.

Here are five tips I have found to be the most helpful during the transition period:

  1. Make a list of industry terms and learn them all.
    Lucky for me, Metis provided me with a long list of technology acronyms and phrases that I would come across. I spent time reviewing these terms every day until I knew them by heart and understood their context. If you do this, eventually these words will become a normal part of your day-to-day language.
  2. Go beyond basic research.
    Read as many news sources as you can to catch up on what’s happening in your new industry. Take it a step further than reading the daily news scans and Google alerts by reading blogs, watching videos and listening to podcasts. Make sure to absorb every detail you can to completely immerse yourself in your new industry.
  3. Ask questions when you’re confused.
    Technology PR and marketing can be a complicated business. When Google isn’t answering your questions, ask a team member. People are much better at explaining difficult concepts than Google. I found it really helpful to sit down with a friend who works in computer science and go through some of the basics together. I was able to ask questions that I might not have felt comfortable asking someone in the office before I got to know the team. It’s like getting a tutor. This works for any industry where you might have complicated clients.
  4. Buy or borrow a few helpful books.
    Never underestimate the For Dummies series. These books can give you a great overview with layman term explanations. Ask colleagues what books they would suggest and spend some time making your way through them.
  5. Keep going.
    Be patient and persistent. You aren’t going to learn the ins and outs of an industry in a week, or even two weeks. Keep up with your industry research until you feel up to speed with the rest of your teammates.


What tips do you have for switching industries? Comment below or tweet at @Metiscomm.

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