I used to have a pool table in my basement when I was growing up. The eight-ball was always an enigma to me. It signified both complete victory and utter failure, depending on when it found its way into the pocket.
Public relations is a little bit like that eight ball. By itself, it doesn't mean much, but with a little finesse it becomes pure magic. It can conversely be an utter disaster.
Leo Bottary, who writes the Client Service Insights blog, who focuses on the finesse of client service in public relations, devoted an entire week to write some basic tips for junior public relations professionals. And he came up with eight excellent posts to guide a newcomer in public relations through some basic expectations about culture and skills from a client service standpoint. I think they can also be easily adapted for those not going into an agency setting. Just substitute “boss” for client throughout.
And while I am regretably no longer a junior anything (and sill in mourning about it), I did learn a great deal from the series myslef. I highly recommend you peruse them. His final article had links to the others that he wrote in the series.
I also wrote about the series of eight articles at Marcom blog, so if you have some thoughts or advice for the many college seniors in Robert French's class at Auburn University, mosey over to comment there.