This time a year ago (and when I was a student) I received an e-mail from the careers network at Birmingham University inviting me to attend a talk ‘Is PR right for you?’ led by an agency called MWWPR. I had considered PR as a post-graduate job and taking any excuse to escape the library (and the dreaded dissertation I was writing at time) I decided to indulge myself in an afternoon of all things PR.
After the session, not only did I finally understand the difference between advertising and PR, but I concluded that PR might just be right for me. Subsequently, I ended up securing an internship just after I finished University in May last year with MWWPR, which recently turned into a permanent role as an Account Executive!
Nine months down the line I then returned to Birmingham University this week to give the same talk I was given one year ago.
Despite still being fairly new to the industry, standing on the other side of the fence and talking about my experiences made me appreciate how much I have learnt.
If you’re like I once was, and wondering ‘Is PR right for me?’ here are my seven top tips:
- Don’t worry about a specific degree – you do not need a degree in PR to get a job within the industry. I studied English and Drama at University, in fact, there is currently only one person in our office who studied PR at University.
- Organisation is key – PR is reactive and fast paced. Deadlines usually have a quick turnaround. The nature of agency life means you work on a number of different accounts, therefore you must be able to organise yourself and time efficiently between them all.
- Aspire to be a competent writer – Don’t get me wrong – you don’t have to be the next Shakespeare, but PR involves a lot of writing. From short 100-word comments to long 1,500-word articles, you must be able to write copy that people engage with.
- Have enthusiasm to communicate with people – It is important in PR to build long lasting relationships with journalists and your clients. You must be happy and willing to pick up the phone and meet people.
- A desire to be creative – How do you make your client stand out from the crowd? PR requires you to think outside of the box for you to get noticed above the noise. Whether it is a creative campaign idea or a creative way to pitch to a journalist – find new ways to grab someone’s attention!
- Ability to work fast and under pressure – If you’re someone who gets flustered and buckles under pressure, PR might not be the best route for you. No day is the same; you must be flexible to move with the times and always stay up-to-date with the news agenda. If you can work fast and hit deadlines the rewards can be brilliant.
- Show an interest in technology – Like nearly all industries, technology is influencing everything we do. Traditional forms of media are changing the way we work as PRs and we must move with the times. The rise of social media influencers and platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat have provided us with new ways of working.
If you want to find out more about internships with MWWPR then please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org