Stepping into the world of PR for the first time? It can be difficult to know where to start. But you’re not alone, every expert PR professional has to start somewhere! In fact, you’ll probably find you already know a lot more than you think you do about the PR world.
To kickstart your PR career we’ve asked our most recent graduates to share their tips on how to not only navigate but thrive in this fast-paced, exciting industry.
Let's delve into our team's pearls of wisdom on how to prepare for a PR career when you’re a brand-new graduate.
Stay on top of the news
Keeping up to date with what’s current and trending is a great way to prepare for a career in PR. Staying on top of the latest news and trends should become a daily habit. We will often have a flick through the news or X (formally Twitter) to see what stories could be relevant for our clients. Monitoring what’s of interest to journalists and publications is key to developing impactful and relevant angles for your pitches.
Even what you think might be absent minded scrolling on Tiktok could actually be informing your next campaign idea.
Lean into your niche knowledge
Passion is a powerful thing in the realm of PR. If there’s something you are really interested in, whether it's a certain country, a sport, a car or genre of music, you can use that understanding of what appeals to that audience to your advantage. It gives you a unique position to draw on that market or product knowledge when coming up with campaign ideas. Your innate understanding of a target audience’s preferences and nuances will help you create authentic campaigns that resonate with the right people.
Put yourself in other peoples’ shoes
Empathy is a huge advantage in PR. The ability to put yourself in other people's shoes is essential. Being able to comprehend what a client wants to say and understanding their objectives enables you to work with them in the most effective way.
Whether a B2B or B2C audience, being able to empathise with and understand a client’s unique messaging and tone of voice will help you determine the most suitable PR focuses. Empathy not only guides PR outcomes, but also nurtures lasting client relationships built on trust and understanding.
Think on your feet
We know that many graduates will already be used to working under pressure and thinking on their feet, and being able to react quickly in the face of shifting priorities makes it so much easier to successfully adapt to the world of PR. Understanding that the landscape can shift unexpectedly, and coming up with swift responses and creative solutions is an essential part of a career in this industry.
Don’t forget about the skills you already have!
A PR career isn't defined solely by what you might think are ‘PR-specific skills’. Recent graduates already possess so many skills that are easily transferable to their new career.
For example, effective communication, honed through experiences in hospitality, retail, or extracurricular activities, is essential for fostering strong client relationships. Then there’s creativity. Being creative is important for good copywriting, campaign planning and spotting the finer details, and often people are honed this through their hobbies.
The lesson here is clear: graduates actually already possess many of the diverse skills needed for a stellar PR career. When this is accompanied by an open mind to learn how to apply these to PR tasks and responsibilities, graduates will be set up for success!
And if you want to find out more about what it’s really like to work in PR, why not check out our previous LinkedIn article.