If you’re looking for an exciting, creative, and fast-paced industry to work in, a career in public relations is a great choice.
PR is something we absorb everywhere, but many people outside of the sector don’t understand what it is and why it is so important. With a wide range of misconceptions out there as to what we do, public relations is SO much more than the cliches of brunches referenced in pop culture.
Whether you’ve recently graduated or are looking to switch to a new sector, it can be hard to get your first foot on the career ladder and stand out from the crowd, particularly in PR with the job market being so competitive.
Last year I joined the team at Hatch as a PR Account Executive, after freelancing as a PR Assistant after finishing my final year of studies at university. Here are a few pointers on how to get into a public relations career and stand apart from the rest of the crowd!
Experience is Key
Gaining experience in PR is vital more than ever in today’s current employment market, with two-thirds of employers favouring candidates with relevant work experience.
Keep your eye out for opportunities that will help you develop your skillset and help you decide if a career in PR is right for you. Websites like Indeed and Rate my Placement will list a wide range of internship opportunities, and make sure to reach out to PRs on LinkedIn to see if they’re open to offering work experience.
You’ll learn so much from your fellow PR professionals, providing you with experience beyond what you may have previously completed – plus, you can showcase your experience in your portfolio when you’re applying for your dream job.
Here at Hatch, we launched our Fledglings Intern Programme earlier this year. Considering applying? Follow us on social for details on how to apply for 2023!
As a PR professional it’s incredibly important to have an awareness of what’s going on in the world, so make sure to immerse yourself in the media. Look at how you’re consuming news, whether it’s from online news platforms or TikTok, you need to be clued up on it all, from sport to finance.
Look at the news with a savvy eye – can you tell the difference between a successful stunt or not, and what makes a clickbait story clickable? Having this skillset will most certainly impress your prospective employer and demonstrates your knowledge of the media landscape.
Write, write write!
Whether it’s starting your own blog or practising writing press releases, being a great communicator is vital in PR. In a world where journalists are constantly receiving content from PRs across the country, having a well-written press release can make or break whether you secure media coverage, draw visitors to your website or reach your target audience.
When completing any work experience, make sure to ask for honest feedback on any content you may be required to write. Every client will have their own unique writing style, so experiment with varying tones of voice to ensure you’re communicating most efficiently. Plus, you can showcase your writing technique in your portfolio when applying for that dream job or internship.
Resources such as VeryGoodCopy and CopyBlogger offer a wide range of tips and tricks to help you create content that will drive traffic and resonate with your target audience.
Network and Build Relationships
Networking is one of the most important skills to possess in PR – if you can’t communicate well with others then how will you communicate well with journalists who receive thousands of press releases every day?
I never would have landed my freelancing role if it wasn’t for building connections with fellow PR Professionals. Networking opens the door for new opportunities that might have been out of reach otherwise and could even inspire someone to recommend you to a prospective employer to help you land that dream role.
Attend networking events (BrightonSEO and PR Week have a wide range of events throughout the year to get involved in!) and maintain your relationship with contacts you’ve made from any work experience – you never know when someone will reach the branch out to offer you new and exciting opportunities!
Whilst putting these tips into practice won’t necessarily guarantee a dream role in PR, they will help you stand out from the crowd in a highly saturated market and will showcase your skill set positively. Think initiatively, and be persistent, and you’ll be a PR Pro in no time.
Looking to join an award-winning agency that delivers the unorthodox? Take a look at our current openings, or drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org