Firstly let’s separate the myths from the facts…
Myth Vs Fact
- PRs drink champagne for breakfast – we wish!
- PR is all about attending glamorous parties – nope, we put on the glamorous parties for other people
- PRs are the people who promote club nights – no, they’re promoters, a very different career
- There’s lots of perks to the job! – there sure is, if you work for the right agency!
- We play hard… yes, work hard, play hard!
- PR is all about late nights… and early mornings and weekends. This is no 9 to 5 job
So, still think it’s for you, here’s some top tips for landing your first PR job.
You CV may be full of qualifications and summers working at a local bar but that’s not really relevant in PR land. What we want to see is experience, be it two weeks as a work-ex or a summer internship – the more experience you have, the better. Someone who knows the basics is far more appealing to a busy agency than someone we have to train from scratch. Work experience is also a great way for you to decide if PR is for you and what sectors you like working in.
Know the Media
Ultimately, that’s our job – to know the media, find the ops and place our clients in their desired publications. So, get ahead! Don’t stick to your favourite mag and online daily. Read a different paper every day, pick up a handful of mags each week and browse the net to keep up to date on the must follow bloggers. The key is understanding each publication, what they cover and how they differ.
Keep on Top of Trends
PR is a fast moving industry and a huge part of our job involves keeping on top of trends in the media and our sectors.
You’ve heard the age-old saying, ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ and that is very true in any industry. PR agencies aren’t constantly recruiting, they tend to hire when they win new business and they often need to get new people in quickly. So, if you’ve been showing your face at events, making an appearance at industry dos and getting yourself in front of the decision makers, then when the time comes, you may very well get the call up.
Yes recruiters may offer you the job of your dreams and have access to a database of contacts but they come with hefty fees to agencies so hiring candidates that come through organically is much more appealing. Do your research, follow agencies on social media and send your CV directly to them – this could very well bump you up the pile.
Go for the Right Company and Get to Know Them
Pick a company that is right for you and get to know them before your interview
There is nothing worse than A) interviewing candidates who clearly prefer sectors we don’t cover and B) who haven’t bothered to take a look at what we do, what we’ve been up to recently and what clients we look after. It’s very simple really, do your research on a company before you meet them and make sure you go to an interview totally swotted up.