Five ways to get into a career in PR
In 2019, the PR industry has become increasingly important to brands. With the ‘always on’ culture, consumers have become familiar with, its crucial brands have qualified teams managing their reputations. But as the popularity and importance of the industry continues to grow, so does the competition to land a job in PR.
PR in this modern age, isn’t just writing press releases though. A wide range of skills from copywriting and social media to event management and photography, are now required by PR departments and agencies. Being an expert in one particular field isn’t always enough to be hired in this spirited sector.
Whether you’re leaving school, graduating from university, or making a career change, the right mix of experience and knowledge is crucial for getting a foot in the door – so we’ve put together this guide of different routes you can explore to secure your dream PR job.
- Build your own personal online brand
Don’t forget that it’s important to build your personal brand, as well as your CV. An active profile on platforms like Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, will help you stand out from the crowd.
Remember that every post reflects your own character – so make the right choice before pressing send. Talk about the PR area you’re looking to get into and engage with contacts you’ve met through networking and work experience to make it clear that you know your stuff.
Social media is an important part of the recruitment process, as bosses are likely to check your profiles after looking at your CV, so make sure you look the part on and offline.
- Network, network, network!
Networking is a must for anyone looking for a PR job, as it’s one of the easiest ways to get into a room full of people who know the industry inside out.
Events covering a range of topics are held frequently by organisations made up of PR professionals like the CIPR and PRCA. Attending these will help expand your knowledge and further increase your network – you never know who you’ll end up speaking to. A lot of these events are free too, so make sure to sign up to all relevant newsletters and follow influential people to see when they’re next taking part in an event.
If you’re currently working for a company that has its own PR team (but you’re not yet part of the team), why not ask to spend a day in their office, or arrange a meeting with a team member to quiz them on their role?
- Get real life experience
Going on work experience or an internship is an obvious but effective way to experience a real PR job. Placements, which usually last one or two weeks, present a first-hand opportunity to do a variety of PR roles, and speak to professionals working in the industry.
Putting this type of experience on your CV is a big plus point for recruiters, and if you spend your time on placement speaking to as many people as possible, you’ll leave with a valuable network of contacts for the future.
Remember the more PR time you’ve clocked up, the better. Don’t be afraid to apply and go on multiple placements, and look for at least one in-house role and one agency placement to get a taste of both sides of PR.
At No Brainer, our internships are tailored to give insight into all things PR – take a look at university graduate Dan Eddleston’s account of his time with us here.
- Experience a busy news desk
Whilst it’s important to bag yourself a few placements, journalism is the closest profession to PR, and it’s traditional for many PR people to have started out as a journalist. The two industries share lots of skills; being able to write copy quickly, finding and pitching stories, and dealing with tight deadlines.
Spending some time in your local paper’s newsroom will help you to understand the relationship between journalists and PRs. You’ll get first-hand experience of how journalists pick and choose from the many press releases they are sent every day, get an understanding of what makes a story and when the best times are to call a journalist.
Having some experience in this industry will not only impress a recruiting PR agency or brand, but it will provide you with an in-depth insight into the media. Having already honed your writing skills, you’ll be able to walk into your interview confident in your ability to deliver content, and knowledge of media.
- Volunteer for small organisations – you never know what might come of it!
Another way to build on your skills and experience is to volunteer your services for organisations without a budget for dedicated PR staff. These may be local sports clubs, charities, or community groups like local radio stations.
Working in a volunteer role is a big tick for your CV, and more often than not, you’ll find yourself allowed to work on whatever you like – so if you want to make a podcast, introduce an e-newsletter, or work on a rebrand – go for it!
Although volunteering doesn’t always lead to a full time role, it can help you meet useful contacts, and goes to show your determination to work in PR when it comes to that big interview.
Following these tips, means it won’t be long before you land your dream job in PR and get your career off to the best possible start.
Follow us on social media to keep an eye on all our recruitment opportunities or send us an email with your CV and details about why you’d like to work at No Brainer. We’d love to hear from you! You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org