If you’ve been considering a career change you might like to explore the possibility of joining the exciting world of PR. For creative and social individuals, PR is an excellent field to move into. This role requires good communication skills, creative flair and the ability to work well in a team.
What is PR?
PR stands for Public Relations and as a PR professional your role would be to manage the public image of a brand, individual or organisation. A good PR professional creates a strategic communication process, building a positive relationship between the organisation and the public. If you work for a PR agency, you will typically work across multiple accounts, meaning you will be responsible for more than one company at once. Click here to find out more information about what it’s like to work in PR.
The day-to-day role of a PR professional include such tasks as:
- Draft and publish social media posts
- Write blog posts
- Support with big picture content planning
- Write pitches
- Write and distribute press releases
- Organise online or in-person events
- Produce effective media and communications strategies
- Collaborate with marketers and designers on multimedia content
- Research and media landscape analysis
- Create and carry out crisis public relations strategies
The skills you will need
Not every PR agency will require a degree in communications, however, having a relevant undergraduate or graduate degree will certainly help make you a good candidate. Experience in the field is also very valuable to agencies, so if you can demonstrate that you have had success in media or communications, this will make your application more appealing.
There are a few transferable skills that PR agencies tend to look for when interviewing candidates. Beyond experience and education, these skills make for an effective PR professional.
- Team skills – Although some of your day-to-day roles and responsibilities will be individual to you, much of working in PR relies upon teams functioning effectively. You will be in almost constant contact with other team members to make sure that your work is effective. Many teams within PR do a lot of collective brainstorming so it’s important that you can share your ideas and build creatively off the ideas of others. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or are taking on an entry-level role, the ability to share with a team is vital.
- Creativity – It’s important for a public relations professional to be able to think creatively and strategically. Whether you are thinking about how to frame a new product launch or trying to brainstorm a response to negative coverage, creativity is very important. Working in PR means you will need to absorb and process a wide range of information about the current news cycle and think inventively about how to frame your client stories to the media. You will need to be able to put across clients’ information in a way that people will want to listen to.
- Handling rejection – When you work in PR you need to be resilient. Chances are you will hear the word ‘no’ a lot throughout your career. If you’re pitching a story idea to the media and it is not getting a good response, you need to be able to quickly adapt and change your ideas. It’s important that you don’t become disheartened when things aren’t working, you need to be adaptable. Especially when you are first getting to understand a client’s tastes and needs you will have to be flexible. Those who are easily discouraged or take rejection to heart might not be the best fit for a role in PR.
- Making and maintaining connections – Being able to make and sustain positive working relationships is a vital skill for a PR professional. If you are somebody who finds enjoyment and value in creating long-term relationships you are likely to find PR a fulfilling role. You will need to build and maintain positive relationships with the media, clients, colleagues and others in the PR industry. Networking and communication skills are a must for a PR professional.
If you are looking for a creative and social role in a fast-paced work environment, PR might be an excellent choice. You should value and enjoy working as part of a team and be skilled at fostering meaningful work relationships. Public Relations offers an ever changing and challenging environment for social workers to thrive. Making connections, creating content, problem solving and strategising will keep you on your toes day-to-day and offer constant new challenges.