With students seeking placements, and graduate jobs more competitive than ever, our Senior PR Specialist, Leila, has revealed her top tips for getting onto the PR ladder:
PR is all about understanding the media, so soak it up like a sponge! Try to read outside of your everyday. Check the news, see what stories are trending in lifestyle publications, and even indulge in some celebrity gossip. Don’t just rely on the web either – if you’re visiting your grandparents, read their newspaper. If you’re on social media, check out the Instagrams/TikToks/Snapchats of media outlets. It’ll show employers that you’re savvy and understand how news is communicated in different formats.
Get involved in student societies
We know it’s hard to get experience when you’re studying, so join student societies. Whether your university has a newspaper or a radio station, or even a sports society – there’ll be something you can get involved in. Offer to contribute to their social media or write blog posts!
Start a blog
Speaking of blogging, it might seem like the glory days of blogging have fallen behind Instagram and TikTok, but they’re still a great way to show employers your writing skills. Write about whatever you’re passionate about – be it fashion, sports, or film, and make sure to put the link on your CV (just check it's employer-friendly!)
Ask to help with family businesses
If you know someone with a business, why not ask them if you can help? It could be on their social media, writing copy or making up graphics, or helping them with their website. It’s a great way to get experience and show future employers that you’re proactive.
Talk about campaigns online
PR and marketing campaigns are a real hot topic for the industry – whether it’s the John Lewis Christmas ad, or Aldi vs Marks and Spencer. Make a professional Twitter account and share your thoughts – The Drum and Campaign Live are both good places to look for inspiration.
Network as much as possible
Networking is key in PR, so the earlier in your career you do it, the better. Attend employer events, go to speaker workshops, or even just get on LinkedIn. Check your local area for what’s going on around you – cities such as Liverpool and Manchester often run free networking events, including the Summer PRty (organised by Radioactive PR).
Build your knowledge
Join free webinars
In the age of Covid, a lot of conferences and events went online, and have stayed that way. Joining webinars is an easy way of building up your industry knowledge. The CIPR regularly run them on topics like crisis comms or influence. If you’re interested in digital PR, BrightonSEO is a haven of knowledge and you can catch up for free online.
Engage with the PR community
The great thing about PR is the online community. Twitter is an ideal resource to build your knowledge – there’s a regular #PowerandInfluence chat run by the CIPR, the PR Academy posts a weekly round-up of #ThisWeekinPR, and there’s always plenty of discussion about things in the news. Follow thought leaders, and you’ll learn organically whilst scrolling.
If you’re interested in an opportunity at Active Profile, we’re always happy to hear from passionate students and graduates! You can register your interest via our website.