Fancy a job in PR? Here are the basics to help you on your way…
Public Relations is the flow of information, news and stories that are given by an individual, or organisation, to the greater public. Therefore a PR department (either as an agency / consultancy or in-house for a company) has the job of managing the flow and quality of the information that is sent out. PR isn’t all strawberries and champagne, like the stereotype might suggest, and although given time and once you’ve reached a certain level, you may be able to do a little wining & dining, this is a hard job that involves a great deal of dedication and commitment…
Whilst a degree in a PR related subject like Communications or Journalism may help you get shortlisted for an entry level role in the field, PR specific qualifications are not generally essential, although a degree level qualification may be a shortlisting criteria. Membership and qualifications through the CIPR is a good place to start too.
At entry level it would be ideal to gain work experience, a placement, or an internship in a PR department. Appreciate that as this is a work placement, it is the experience you will get and be able to add to your CV that is most important as opposed to the salary you will earn. Short term pain for long term gain! Experience in blogging, writing, using social media, working for a student newspaper and any forms of marketing and communications experience will help your cause too. Also, it’s important to consider if you would like to work in-house or work for a bespoke PR agency as this will have an impact on the type of organisation you should contact in your attempts to find work.
Type of Person
There are a load of general attributes that would help if you would like a long term career in PR. Generally you would be expected to have the ability to communicate well, both in writing and in person and also the ability to work well with people and to make a good first impression. As PR is often about working to time deadlines, a good eye for detail and the ability to manage well under pressure is also essential.
How to get a job in PR?
If you feel comfortable that you have at least some of the above, then work hard to make sure you have all of the above! The reality is that in this testing economic climate, you may have to go above and beyond if you want an entry job in PR. There are plenty of PR specific job sites and specialist recruitment agencies that will advertise and recruitment for Marketing, Communications and PR jobs, and the CIPR is a good place to start for searching PR jobs. If you want to work for an Agency, the reality is that most big PR companies and agencies are based in the big cities across the UK so it may mean relocation or travel if you are based out in the sticks or live in a small town. If you would happily consider an in-house PR job you may be able to be a little more flexible on location, but also find that your job duties and responsibilities are more varied and that your PR responsibilities are part of a much bigger job description and role.
Fancy a career in PR? Good luck!! We hope these basic tips help you along the way…
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