How to Create a Winning PR Portfolio in 5 Steps
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 7 min read


  1. Gather Your Best Work
  2. Organize Projects by Type
  3. Highlight Your Role and Impact
  4. Include Testimonials If Possible
  5. Keep Updating Your Portfolio

Creating a portfolio for public relations can be a bit like piecing together a puzzle. Each piece of your work is a valuable part of the bigger picture that showcases your skills, experiences, and achievements. And just like any puzzle, your portfolio needs to be well-thought-out and strategically put together. But don't worry! This guide will walk you through how to create a portfolio for public relations in five simple steps.

Gather Your Best Work

First things first, let's start with gathering your best work. This will be the backbone of your portfolio and will showcase your talents and skills to potential employers or clients.

Identify Your Strongest Pieces

Begin by identifying your strongest pieces of work. These could be press releases, web copy, social media campaigns, blogs, or any other public relations projects you have worked on. Here's a simple way to do it:

  • Pick a quiet time: You want to be clear-headed and focused, so choose a time when you're not rushed or distracted.
  • Review all your work: Take a trip down memory lane and review all the projects you have completed. Don't skip anything — even the smaller projects can sometimes showcase your skills the best.
  • Choose diverse samples: Variety is key when it comes to showcasing your talents. So, select samples that demonstrate different skills, such as writing, strategic planning, or creativity.

Quality Over Quantity

When it comes to deciding what to include in your portfolio, remember that quality trumps quantity. It's better to have a few standout pieces that truly demonstrate your capabilities than a slew of mediocre ones. So, be selective and choose only works that you are genuinely proud of.

Keep It Relevant

When determining what to include in your portfolio, ask yourself: "Does this piece align with the job I want?" For instance, if you're aiming for a role in crisis communication, include samples that highlight your crisis management skills. Similarly, if you're applying for a role that requires strong writing skills, ensure you have samples that show off your writing prowess.

Remember, your portfolio should be a reflection of you — your skills, your experiences, and your potential. The more relevant your samples are to the job you want, the better chance you stand in catching the eye of potential employers or clients.

Organize Projects by Type

Now that you have gathered your best work, the next step in building your public relations portfolio is organizing your projects by type. This makes it easier for those viewing your portfolio to navigate and understand your skills and experiences.

Group Similar Projects Together

Grouping similar projects together gives a clear structure to your portfolio and shows your proficiency in different areas. For example, you might have sections for press releases, social media campaigns, blog posts, event planning, and crisis management. This way, anyone reviewing your portfolio can quickly find examples of the type of work they are most interested in.

  • Create distinct sections: Clearly label sections based on the type of project. This helps your portfolio to be easily navigable.
  • Consider the order: Arrange the sections in a way that highlights your strongest skills first.
  • Use visuals: Including images or screenshots of your work can make your portfolio more engaging and visually appealing.

Use a Logical Order

Within each section, arrange your projects in a logical order. This might be chronologically, with your most recent work first, or you might choose to lead with your most impressive projects. Consider what makes the most sense for your portfolio and the message you want to convey.

Keep It Simple

While it's important to show off your work, remember to keep your portfolio simple and clean. A cluttered or confusing portfolio can be off-putting, so focus on making it easy to read and navigate. Simple, clear headings, concise descriptions, and a clean layout can go a long way in making your portfolio more effective.

Remember, your portfolio isn't just a collection of your work — it's a representation of your professional brand. A well-organized, easily navigable portfolio shows that you are not only skilled, but also meticulous and professional.

Highlight Your Role and Impact

With your projects neatly organized, it's time to shine a spotlight on your role and the impact you've made. This step is all about showing how you contributed to each project and the results that came from your efforts.

Showcase Your Specific Contributions

For each project in your portfolio, make sure to clearly state what your role was. Did you lead a team, write press releases, or manage social media accounts? Be specific. This helps potential employers or clients understand exactly what skills and experiences you bring to the table.

  • Be concise: Use clear, concise language to explain your role in each project.
  • Use action words: Start your sentences with verbs like "led", "managed", or "created" to show your active involvement.
  • Stay honest: While it's important to present yourself in the best light, always be truthful about your involvement in a project.

Quantify Your Impact

It's not enough to just list what you did — you also need to show the impact of your work. Where possible, provide quantifiable results. Did your social media campaign increase followers or engagement? By how much? Did your press release lead to media coverage? How many outlets picked it up? These kinds of numbers can be powerful proof of your abilities.

Use Success Stories

Another great way to illustrate your impact is by sharing success stories. Did your crisis management skills help a company navigate a tricky situation? Did your event planning lead to a record turnout? Telling these stories not only highlights your skills but also shows how you apply them in real-world situations.

Remember, your portfolio is more than just a showcase of your work — it's a testament to your effectiveness as a public relations professional. By highlighting your role and impact, you're showing potential employers and clients not just what you can do, but what they can expect when they work with you.

Include Testimonials If Possible

Let's move onto the next step in creating a portfolio for public relations — including testimonials. Testimonials can serve as powerful endorsements of your work and skills, giving potential clients or employers a glimpse into your working relationships and the value you provide.

Who Should You Ask?

When considering who to ask for a testimonial, think about the people who have directly witnessed your work and its impact. This could be a former boss, a client, or even a team member. The key is to approach individuals who can provide a detailed and positive account of their experience working with you.

  • Former employers: They can vouch for your work ethic, reliability and professional growth.
  • Clients: They can speak to your skills, ability to deliver results, and customer service.
  • Team members: They can provide insights into your teamwork and leadership abilities.

How to Request Testimonials

When asking for a testimonial, be polite and make your request as easy as possible for the other person. Explain why you're asking for a testimonial and how you plan to use it. Offer to draft something for them to edit as they see fit — this can save them time and ensure you get the kind of feedback you're looking for. Remember to say thank you!

Where to Place Testimonials

Once you've gathered your testimonials, you need to decide where to include them in your portfolio. They can add value to any section, but consider placing them next to relevant projects. This allows potential clients or employers to see positive feedback related to a specific example of your work.

Including testimonials in your public relations portfolio can significantly increase its impact. They provide tangible proof of your skills and abilities, and can help paint a picture of what it's like to work with you. And that could be just the edge you need to set yourself apart from the competition.

Keep Updating Your Portfolio

As you move along your public relations journey, your portfolio should grow with you. Regular updates are vital in showcasing your accomplishments, skills, and growth. Let's explore how to keep your portfolio fresh and relevant.

Regularly Add New Projects

As you complete new projects, don't forget to add them to your portfolio. Each new project presents a fresh example of your skills and the value you bring to your work. Whether it's a successful PR campaign, a published article, or a client testimonial, every piece adds to the story of your professional journey.

  1. Reflect on your work: After every project, take a step back and think about what you accomplished. What were the challenges? How did you overcome them? What were the results?
  2. Choose the best materials: Select pieces that best represent your work and achievements. This may include campaign outlines, press releases, media coverage, or analytics reports.
  3. Update your portfolio: Add these materials to your portfolio, along with a brief explanation of each project.

Keep It Organized

As you add new content, remember to keep your portfolio organized. This makes it easier for viewers to find what they're looking for and understand the breadth of your work. You might categorize by project type, industry, or even chronologically.

Don't Be Afraid to Remove Old Content

While it's important to show a breadth of experience, not everything from your past may serve your present career goals. If a project no longer aligns with the type of work you're seeking, or if it doesn't reflect your current skills, consider removing it. Remember, your portfolio is your professional highlight reel, and it's okay to curate it to show your best self.

In conclusion, remember that creating a portfolio for public relations is not a one-time task. It's an ongoing project that should evolve as you do. By regularly updating and refining your portfolio, you'll ensure it's always ready to impress.

If you're looking to create a winning PR portfolio, don't miss the workshop 'Creating a Portfolio for Graduate School' by Ciarra K. Walters. Although it's focused on building a portfolio for graduate school, the principles and techniques shared in this workshop are easily adaptable to creating a strong PR portfolio. Learn from an expert and make your PR portfolio stand out from the rest!