[Updated from a post written in Fall 2009]

As part of our PRCA 3711/4711 Public Relations Practicum course at Georgia Southern University, students create and present portfolios of their work.

Kelli Matthews, an assistant professor of public relations at the University of Oregon, created a packet of information for her students to help them prepare their portfolios. With Kelli’s permission, I have tweaked it slightly (only removing the U of O specific information) and am sharing it here.

PR Portfolio Reviews Overview

Also, I asked PR professionals on LinkedIn for their advice about portfolios. Specifically, I asked:

  • Do you prefer a PR student’s portfolio to be digital or in a binder?
  • How many samples do you hope to see?
  • What tips would you offer a student who is showing you a portfolio in an interview (how should they show it to you)?

I was pleased to receive nearly 20 responses within a week’s time. Here’s what the professionals said.

After Fall Semester’s PR Practicum students had their Portfolio Reviews, I wrote a short post hitting the highlights (and lowlights) of their interviews. It’s worth a read.

Do you have additional suggestions for PR students who will be interviewing for entry-level positions? I’d love to hear from you!



Tagged with:  

16 Responses to Portfolios for Public Relations Students

  1. […] – Put together a portfolio: This has been on my to-do list for awhile now, and I’m looking forward to checking it off this summer. Potential PR employers will most likely ask for writing samples and it’s key to present them in a polished and well-put together fashion. Be sure to include all relevant samples from your classes and any internships. For some tips on putting together an impressive portfolio, check out this presentation. […]

  2. […] you will need to create a portfolio that highlights your best work over the past few semesters. See Portfolios for Public Relations Students for details on how to create a […]

  3. […] Blog Comments- 3711 Jump to Comments #1. “Portfolios for Public Relations Students” by Barbara […]

  4. Lauren Parr says:

    I think that the portfolio is a creative and essential piece for public relations students to have because sometimes the work we have done is not represented the best on a resume. I do not have a lot of information that I could put in my portfolio because I currently haven’t done an internship and campaigns is the only class I have completed where I have organized any sort of PR event. I do think including social media pieces can be tricky, but it will be very useful to include blogs and other facets that can showcase one’s writing and online skills. This post was helpful and got me thinking about what I need to do to be better prepared!

  5. Marie Walker says:

    I thought that the answer about how many pieces to include when showing a portfolio was helpful, I’m sure it’s hard to figure out just how many pieces are necessary. If you bring too many, then it can seem overwhelming to the reviewer. If you don’t bring enough, then you might fail to highlight your talents and skills.

  6. Brittney Lindsay says:

    This post is very helpful. I am in the process of searching for an internship so making my portfolio into the best product I can produce is vital. It was interesting to see the preferred portfolios. Currently I have an Itoya art portfolio. All of the information in this post is helpful and each soon to be graduate should take time out to read this and apply it to their portfolios. Thank you for the insightful information!

  7. Shannon McCloud says:

    I found these PR professionals comments to be very helpful and a little unnerving. It was reassuring to have their input on how to create a digital portfolio and presenting it in the meeting. I really liked how one professional discussed sending the portfolio in an e-mail form that doesn’t take up a great deal of space. What I found unnerving about the things that they were asking for or expecting to be in the portfolio. For instance, I don’t have many press releases (certainly not published) but, I do have many blog posts that show my range in terms of writing. These tips cleared up a lot of questions I had about portfolios.

  8. Stephanie Medlin says:

    Thank you for posting a blog that offers helpful tips from professionals. It was nice to get their feedback and see what is preferred. I like the comment Sharon Bailly made dealing with binders being easier to control. I think it is great to have both but I agree that you can sometimes run into problems with technology. I also liked what Nichole Schwegman suggested. She explains that having both is the best method to be prepared. I’d rather be safe than sorry! If you have both you can maximize your talents, just expect the unexpected so that if something goes wrong you can always go back to your binder.

  9. Kristen Kelley says:

    I found the responses from the professionals to be very insightful. Most of them recommended having both print and digital copies of your portfolio. It also can vary depending upon the company you are looking to apply for. Some may require one or the other. A pro for a hard copy of your portfolio is it won’t get lost in the interviewer’s overflowing mailbox, or potentially blocked from a firewall. On the other hand, it can be perceived as outdated. A pro for a digital copy of your portfolio is it gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to be creative. However, a downfall can include technical glitches. This always appears to happen at the worst times (like during a crucial interview). To sum it up, have both forms at hand.

  10. Lauren Lee says:

    This is a great blog full of helpful tips. Thank you for sharing with everyone. I learned the importance of a neat, professional portfolio and how it is beneficial to have not only a print portfilio but also to have one on a dsic possibly (done in a computer programlike PowerPoint). I knew the importance of a portfolio but this blog post gives great guidelines and examples.

  11. Allison Allmond says:

    The LinkedIn comments were really helpful. I learned that you should have both a print portfolio and a digital portfolio and that it’s good to organize your digital portfolio in a PowerPoint presentation.

  12. From what most of the professionals have said, it seems that a hard copy is better for presentation. However, most have said that both are good to have. Obviously digital videos and animation are difficult to cover with a hard copy, but I think it would be smart to utilize both types, because you never know what the employer may be looking for. This way it gives a hopeful employee the chance to show where the shine better. I liked the idea of having three samples per section of the portfolio too. That way it isn’t too cluttered, but there is some variety of the student’s work. Having both print and digital at hand will help since one may be preferred over the other.

  13. […] portfolio with several samples of your best work, along with your resume. Review Portfolios for Public Relations Students for a reminder of how to assemble your […]

  14. […] 2009-09-22T20:59:44  Really excited that @BarbaraNixon has posted PR portfolio tips. I'm happy to share what we've learned at UofO: [link to post] […]

  15. Robert says:

    Excellent! Absolutely wonderful! I could go on, but you see where I’m going. This is great, Barbara. I’ll share this and the LinkedIn responses with my students. Thanks!