entering PR industry

How to get into the PR industry

Public relations is an exciting and varied industry. PR professionals use their creativity, skills in communication and knowledge of media landscapes to build reputations and influence consumer behaviour.

It’s becoming more important than ever for businesses to project a strong personal image. This is why those with transferable skills who are looking for a job in public relations are in high demand. In fact, the PR industry was worth almost £15 billion in 2019, with 95,000 employees.

To get a dream job in PR, you’ll need to stand out from the rest of the competition.

Types of public relations

Public relations specialists have two main responsibilities. These are: promoting a brand or individual to the public, and reputation management. These responsibilities, along with several others, will be required in most of the various PR types:

  • Media relations
  • Investor relations
  • Government agencies
  • Community relations
  • Internal comms
  • Customer relations
  • Marketing
  • PR skills and attributes

Alongside an awareness of current trends, public relations employees require certain skills and traits to do their job well. To build your pr career, you generally need writing skills, communication skills, as well as problem-solving, and organisation skills.

Communication

Public relations is all about telling stories. PR agencies work hard every day to tell brand stories through well-thought-out pr campaigns. These campaigns usually involve a variety of different media, such as TV, websites and newspapers.

This is why it’s essential to have skills in communications, with the ability to communicate across a variety of platforms. Your PR role will involve writing captivating content for clients, from press releases to news articles and blog posts.

Social media skills

A good understanding of social channels and how they connect consumers with brands is an integral part of PR. Social media can amplify messages and spread those messages further and faster than ever before. Social media can also create spaces where consumers can interact directly with a brand. This helps solidify the relationship and creates personalised experiences.

It’s important for pr professionals to wear many hats and be technologically savvy. This includes getting to know the different social media channels available and how to utilise them effectively.

LinkedIn, for example, can be used by companies for networking and industry-related news. Facebook, on the other hand, can be great for B2C marketing and direct engagement with consumers.

Research

Public relations professionals work with a variety of clients in a variety of different fields. Therefore, it’s important for professionals to have some knowledge of each specific industry represented by their clients. This is why research skills are important for public relations work.

Time management

The day-to-day workload of a PR professional can be hectic. A PR manager, for example, may be juggling multiple clients, with multiple needs. Couple this with day-to-day meetings, creative brainstorming and trend awareness, and everything can start to look chaotic.

Time management, prioritising, multitasking and scheduling are important skills for a public relations officer. Each client should be considered a priority and may feel pressured by their own tight deadlines and chaotic workloads. It’s important to keep these clients as happy as possible so that they can place their trust in you.

Creativity

Writing blogs, press releases, and coming up with pr campaigns takes a lot of creative thinking. The market is saturated, and pr clients may already be having some trouble breaking through the din. Thinking creatively can help set clients apart from the competition and succeed in getting their unique voices heard.

Entry ways into PR

The world of PR can be exciting and challenging. It could also prove to be financially rewarding, with the average salary for a PR job around 37K. As a result, it can be competitive, but thankfully, there are multiple ways to get into the PR industry and build a successful career.

Study and education

There are amazing degree courses offered in the UK for PR. Some degrees even offer graduates the opportunity to gain relative PR work experience before entering the competitive job market.

PR roles are incredibly varied. This is why universities and colleges offer joint courses in PR. These joint courses can be matched with other related subjects, such as marketing. If you’d like to improve your knowledge beyond your degree, you can also find a great postgraduate course.

PR internships

Undertaking a PR internship is a great way to get your first foot on the career ladder. The graduate market is incredibly competitive. It can be hard to land that first job when there are so many candidates vying for the same positions.

An internship will provide you with real experience working in the industry. It may even help you build a portfolio and gain some professional contacts. This sort of firsthand experience is a great way to stand out to a prospective employer.

Entry level jobs

You may have already completed a PR internship, or perhaps an internship isn’t viable for you. In this case, an entry-level position would be a great way to kickstart your career. This could either be in-house or with a strong agency.

However, entry-level positions are also very competitive, and job interviews can be challenging. You’ll have to make sure you approach your job hunt with all of the necessary tools. This would include an up-to-date CV and a covering letter, both tailored to each position.

Perform a quick job search to see what sorts of jobs are available, and pay attention to job descriptions. A job description can be a great tool to discover exactly what the requirements are for your first PR position. Once you’ve found relevant vacancies, send off your CV and if offered an interview, make sure you prepare accordingly.

Attending networking events

PR rests heavily on the connections made between professionals, such as brand marketing professionals and the media. Working in the PR industry is often no different.

Your career path in PR may feel easier if you can build strong relationships with employers, colleagues and journalists. You can build those by attending networking events, or connecting on professional platforms such as LinkedIn.

Are you looking for a role in an established PR company to work across B2B and corporate campaigns? Find out more about joining us by visiting our careers page.