On 11 March I attended the PR Careers Event hosted by PRCA in London. Going with a full bunch of expectations, I was not disappointed. I learned a lot and confirmed a few of my preconceptions. Overall, the experience was invaluable and I left with a sense of knowing which direction to go in order to find my way in Public Relations profession. Here’s the 6 things I learned.
The event was invaluable and exciting. The possibility to learn from established practitioners about key skills in order to put my foot in the door was not to be missed. Since I am aiming to find my way to start a successful PR career, the opportunity to listen to the rising stars of the industry and to get direct advice about core skillsets was much appreciated. These are the 6 core pieces of advice I gained and which I think are the most important for us newbies willing to enter the competitive industry.
- Creativity is important, but it is not the only skill we need. A lot of people in the past told me that in order to become a successful PR professional, I need to be creative. Only. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Indeed, creativity is indispensible, but it is one of many skills we need. What’s most important to start with is… impeccable grammar and writing skills. Surprising? Not really. Much of PR tasks focus on writing, writing and… writing. Strong skills in this regard are therefore very important.
- You need to be a news-junkie. PR is not exactly a 9-5 profession. If you’re not interested in the news, if you are not driven by the newest PR stunts and if you don’t follow current communications trends, the profession might not be for you. PR professionals are well-rounded people who are aware of the current news and who are able to spot emerging trends instantaneously.
- You need to be driven and passionate. Since PR is a complex profession, only those genuinely interested in it will succeed. This is not to scare anyone off 🙂 It sounds like a lot of hard work, but in fact the more I read and the more I dig into different PR topics, the more fascinating a profession PR becomes to me. It’s the art of communication and the ability to extract core information from brands and companies. It’s also the ability to show them in a fascinating light to others. Sounds pretty interesting to me.
- Professional experience is invaluable. Since I am a PR student myself, the news came with no surprise. A PR degree is absolutely not needed in order to start a successful career in the field. In my opinion, it helps a lot, but there are a lot of other options, like apprenticeships or long-term internships. If you do decide to get a degree in PR, remember – it’s not the fact that you study it that’s going to get you to stand out – but what you do with it. Real-life work experience is the most important part of trying to get a full-time communications job.
- PR professionals never stop learning. Professional development is key and without it, you’ll appear short-sighted. Don’t believe me? Ask Stephen Waddington.
- There’s not been a better time to get involved. PR and communications is constantly evolving and the profession is finally getting widely established. Of course, nothing is perfect, but with the constantly evolving online and offline media landscape and the fact that new fantastic ways of communication keep appearing (Virtual Reality and new social platforms to name a few), the profession seems more exciting than ever. Want to shape the future? Join in!