PR (Public Relations) – Career Advice
PR should really be PRO, as in public relations officer. It’s a job for the outgoing, someone who can keep a big-name brand in the public consciousness or take a start-up and help them fly into public view.
PRs use the media to get to the masses. It’s all about raising awareness through column inches or internet exposure that goes viral.
The work, therefore, involves a lot of interaction with journalists, be they on niche, trade or mass- market titles. You’ll need to devise PR strategies, build relationships with media figures, write press releases or create PR campaigns, arrange press conferences and events and keep tabs on the coverage you’ve secured. And while you’re doing all that, you’ll also be expected to maintain current clients while bringing in new ones.
People skills are vital, as is good written and verbal English, tenacity and a real understanding of the different media you’ll be trying to obtain coverage in.
Journalists traditionally swap careers to go into PR as they can bring a whole host of contacts with them. Failing that, a degree is important but not nearly as vital as plain old experience – any volunteer or intern work you can land will greatly enhance your chances of future employment.
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Other recommended resources:
Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Offering a chartered mark for those at the height of their careers as well as an array of other training opportunities from starter to continuing professional development, the CIPR can also support your PR career through work placements, careers advice and education events. They also host a newsroom updated with the latest industry information to help you keep on top of developments and trends.
International Public Relations Association
A professional society for PR executives, their website offers news and information from the PR world including articles such as essays on thought leadership. Membership is available for those at any stage of their PR career with a number of benefits for joining including professional development, networking and professional endorsement.
Public Relations Consultants Association
Representing PR consultants and consultancies, if this is the line of PR work you are interested in then this is the organisation for you. They offer training and qualifications, presence in a PR/PA directory and industry insights through articles, case studies and publications.
Communications, Advertising and Marketing (CAM) Education Foundation
A training resource connecting you to the qualifications that will get you ahead in the PR world. Check out their course directory to see if you can specify further or broaden your prospects.
Chartered Institute of Marketing
A chartered mark for those involved in marketing, CIM also offer a wide range of marketing courses that can supplement a PR application. They also conduct a wide variety of research that is available online through their membership.
For all media and marketing professionals, the M&M Global magazine resource keeps you on top of the world of public relations and advertising through news, information, insight and professional development.