There are many avenues to choose from within public relations as a discipline. For some, their role involves helping to maintain several accounts – that are managed by a PR agency – at once, whilst others might be in-charge of PR and communications (as a whole) for a specific company or organisation. Either way, working in public relations is exciting and fast-paced, every day brings new challenges, targets to meet, and things to learn.
Why work in PR?
As many companies and individuals face an increasing need to gain a competitive advantage within their fields, it is no surprise that the global public relations market is forecasted to have a compound annual growth rate of 9.9% in 2023. Therefore, it is a great time to join the world of PR. One of the greatest advantages of working in this sector is the multitude of routes that can be taken. Graduates are able to choose work that matches the fields of their particular interests, for example, corporate PR, beauty, healthcare, the environment, charitable organisations, technology, the list goes on.
PR goes hand-in-hand with the fast-paced nature of the world, it is inextricably linked to the news and current affairs. Every day requires different areas of focus, e.g. writing pitches, press releases, and opinion pieces (content marketing, in other words); creating coverage reports; liaising with journalists; updating clients, and brainstorming ideas.
Finally, working in PR allows for the chance to be creative – especially when brainstorming new ideas for client projects, or potential coverage to be pitched to journalists. In 2020, working as a public relations specialist was ranked as the third-best creative and media job by the US News and World Report.
Tips for getting into PR
The prospect of directly contacting people who are already working in the PR world (e.g. via LinkedIn) can seem quite daunting. However, this approach shows initiative and allows for those who are interested in pursuing a career in PR to ask specific questions and for personalised advice, as well as to learn from the experiences of others who have previously been in the same position. Also, the connections made through this process might be beneficial for future career development.
Another option is going directly through graduate-specific recruiters – many of the latest opportunities are displayed on their websites. Internships or voluntary work within a PR/communications/marketing setting are also all useful to be added to the CV of a prospective PR specialist. Other work or voluntary experience which might be relevant includes: event coordination, digital marketing or PR, journalism, or any leadership role.
Overall, it is important to stress that there is no right or wrong ideal candidate –the main thing is being open-minded, and being ready to juggle different tasks simultaneously. In this sense, working in PR allows for individuals to pick up many useful and transferable skills, it is a great and growing sector to break into.
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