PR Mini-Guide

30/05/2017

It’s all about creating and maintaining an image and reputation – either for a company, brand or individual. You’ll be responsible for influencing behaviour and opinion. The job is usually office based, but there may be traveling involved for some events. Networking is key – clients, the media and colleagues – you’ll build and maintain relationships in order to get the best out of everyone. Your personal and working life may overlap more than in other industries.

 

What is it?

It’s all about creating and maintaining an image and reputation – either for a company, brand or individual. You’ll be responsible for influencing behaviour and opinion. The job is usually office based, but there may be traveling involved for some events. Networking is key – clients, the media and colleagues – you’ll build and maintain relationships in order to get the best out of everyone. Your personal and working life may overlap more than in other industries.

 

You’ll be telling the public about new products, financial results, forthcoming events and any awards your client is involved with. In addition, if there is a disaster or some unfortunate event, you will need to deal with that too – crisis management and damage limitation may be required depending on the situation.

 

What skills and qualifications will I need?

 

You’ll need to be an excellent communicator, a strong networker, a quick thinker, a good writer and persuasive.

 

You will be driven, flexible and have good time management and organisational skills as you’ll often be working under pressure or to tight deadlines. It’s generally a team role, so working with others and having a good knowledge of current affairs will be very important.

 

A specific PR degree isn’t necessary, any of the following would be useful in this industry – communications/media studies, English/creative writing, marketing, business/management, social sciences.

 

What else do I need to know?

 

Experience is really useful – you might need to volunteer in order to get some. Local charities and events will give you an idea of what’s involved – keep a note of what you have done and any examples of things you write. Try and get involved with your university – they will have societies where you can see what happens and write about it.

 

Public Relations broadly refers to dealing with the general public and the image portrayed there. Media relations will involve journalists, broadcasting – both radio and television, and social media work more frequently.

 

Top Tip

 

Competition is high in this industry – see how much experience you can gain during the holidays – a smaller company will enable to you to see how the department works and you will get to more exposure to the different aspects of the role.

 

Where can I get more information?

 

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations is at www.cipr.co.uk - it’s the professional body of the PR industry. It has an excellent careers information and jobs section – you can join as a student at a reduced rate.

 

www.prca.org.uk is the Public Relations Consultants Association and represents many PR consultants in the UK – it also contains and very useful members directory.