How To Get A Career in PR
5 top tips for gaining experience in PR
By Katie Mallinson – Scriba PR
If you’re thinking about changing your career after maternity leave or having children, what about PR?
The number of people who haven’t got a clue what it entails, is astounding. And then there are those who don’t even know it exists!
It may not even be mentioned to excellent communicators and writers in the final stages of education as a potential career choice, and too many of them will think – or be led to believe – that a love of writing is suited to journalism.
And although not incorrect, that certainly isn’t the only profession out there for those ‘word nerds’ among us!
Essentially, communications is just another word for PR. The world of public relations involves a broad spectrum of media-based activities, ranging from writing press releases and attending client meetings, through to regular posting on social media channels. It really is a varied, fast-paced and interesting choice of profession.
And whether you are dead-set on a career in PR, or you would just like to dip your toe in the water and decide if it’s for you, the best place to start is by gaining experience. This process is invaluable, so if you’re keen to know more, here are some top tips to help you…
Get work experience
Although this won’t be simple, it’s a sure-fire way to establish whether this is the path you wish to take, and will also be a great addition to your CV.
If you can’t strike it lucky at a PR agency, then try other word-based professions where you can get a feel for the media world, such as volunteering at the local paper – it all helps.
Update your CV
Your CV is the first impression you will give to an employer (and you don’t want it to be the last!)
As well as helping you gain experience in your field of choice, you can really show off your writing skills and sell yourself to the reader.
Crafting a great CV could be the difference between getting your foot in the door of PR or not – plus it will help you to perfect those all-important writing skills just mentioned!
Embrace the world of words
Most job titles within the PR industry are suited to the great writers among us. Even if you don’t produce the press releases and features, you will very likely be tasked with proofing work for your colleagues at some stage, so having a strong grasp of spelling and grammar is essential.
Reading is therefore a great pastime to take up, if you don’t already. Everything from books and newspapers, to industry articles will help.
For the aspiring writer, put pen to paper and practice your skills. You could even begin by drafting a regular blog – a place where many people start out. Other suggestions include contributing to the local newspaper of your educational establishment, if possible.
Continue to learn
There is no such thing as knowing everything – and this is the case whatever industry you choose to work in. Training and development opportunities – both in terms of professional and personal growth – exist at every turn, and any agency worth it’s salt will tell you that you should continue to learn at every opportunity.
So, if you do decide a career in communications is the one for you, tailor your choice of university or college course to the end game, or failing that, pick a course where you can enjoy a placement year or maybe consider doing a writing/PR course on the side.
Become a social butterfly
When it comes to selling yourself to potential employers through social media, steer clear of Facebook. LinkedIn and Twitter are where you need to focus any time on your professional profiles.
And although it’s not a good idea to add the owner of every PR agency you find within a 10-mile radius, making the right connections can prove vital.
The most important thing is to maintain active on these networks, including the following/connecting with relevant people, sharing of your opinion on relevant news and keeping up to date with the world of PR.
But as with any social media platforms, always be careful of who you start a conversation with!
Overall, it may seem a daunting task to take those first steps into the world of PR, but start small, stick with it, and if you’re willing to volunteer for opportunities which will ramp up your CV, then you’ve got the right mindset!