A career in PR, is it for you?

When I started to think about my career I had no idea what I wanted to do. Unlike my friends who knew they wanted to be nurses, teachers and astronauts from age 10 I was different, I had absolutely no idea and still to this day I am open to exploring many different career paths, but I know PR is a career that is versatile, would provide variety and most importantly is exciting.

On that note, if you’re like me and wondering whether working in PR is for you here are a few reasons why a career in PR appeals to me…

Salary

It’s hard for anyone to deny that they wouldn’t love to earn a lot of money. Being a student and earning little to nothing has only motivated me more to do well in my career and hopefully one day be as happy as Mr Krabs when I receive my paycheck each month…

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A career in PR can pay well and there are lots of opportunities for development in the PR sector, an individual could start off as a “PR assistant” and work their way up to “PR Manager” and maybe one day even “Director” showing the PR industry is versatile and provides lots of opportunities. I am interested in working in a company that I can learn and develop in rather than work in a dead-end job with no opportunity for promotion or development.

Although it depends on what sector and where in the world an individual decides to delve into, according to Reed (2017) the average salary of an individual working in PR in the UK is £40,205 a year with the lowest salary for a PR professional being £30,866 a year. The idea of earning these figures is something I am definitely striving to work towards. Compared to other jobs, PR can be a well-paid job with many benefits such as flexible working hours, holidays, maternity leave and so on.

Networking

Another reason I would like to work in PR is the copious networking opportunities I could engage in within my career. Working in PR could mean an individual has to work with many different people across many different sectors. Morris and Goldsworthy (2016; pp.13) highlight a career in PR can be glamorous, it can “involve lunches, receptions, events and parties which include many different people at a range of different locations.” Attending events and working with many different companies sounds exciting and would offer opportunities to get to know more people and build up contacts within the sector.

Working in PR can mean managing events and ensuring these events go ahead as planned. Having previous experience in event management has gave me a taste of what life in PR is like. In my opinion, PR is fast paced, pressured but exciting. It requires a lot of work and communication with lots of different people to ensure needs are met and events are successful. I also like the idea of recruiting individuals to attend events and communicating messages to individuals at events that will enhance brand image.

Variety

An aspect that made PR appeal to me was the variety of jobs that are available within the industry. There are opportunities in the voluntary, public service and private sectors. Working in PR means every role is different, there are a variety in roles and positions and a variety of different companies to work for. There are opportunities to work for a private company, an agency, a non-profit organisation, governmental body and so on. For PR professionals the world is their oyster. Working in PR opens many doors and can allow an you to have a wide experience in any sector of the industry.

I have had experience within the voluntary sector and it was a very enjoyable experience for me. However, I am interested in exploring the different types of jobs within PR. Working in PR is fast-paced and no day is ever the same, so it would be interesting to find out what working in an agency or private company is like. But, it is interesting that PR can lead you down all walks of life which is why I am interested in working in this industry.

Creativity

Another reason why a career in PR interests me is the creative flair that comes with the job. Morris and Goldsworthy (2016; pp.13) claim PR is a “creative industry”. I would consider myself a creative person and working in PR will allow me to express my thoughts and ideas whilst also working with others to produce exciting and engaging content that will influence public opinion.

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To develop written pieces, online content for social media and provide content for journalists is something that appeals to me. Writing blog posts, creating engaging social media posts and designing promotional material is an aspect of PR that is very important, and I feel I have the abilities to be creative and ensure all content is engaging and unique to a client’s needs.

In my previous experience I was able to create content for a company’s online website, write posts for social media and other promotional material. Having this experience has made me determined to find a job that will allow me to do this and more within the company.

PR matters

One could ask, can we survive without PR? I highly doubt it. PR is a necessity to any organisation and is valued more than ever before in today’s society whether it be through crisis management, creating content or securing sponsorship. With PR, there will always be jobs out there because organisations are constantly trying to improve their image or promote their brand. Also, the practice of PR is adapting to keep up with current trends and the digital transformation. It’s not just about press releases, PR is so much more than that. Therefore, PR is important to society today and working in PR has a purpose.

A great pathway to success

Working in PR enables individuals to develop a wide range of skills that are adaptable and relevant. Working in PR requires good verbal and written communication skills. PR professionals need to work well in a team, they need to be able to work under pressure and be flexible to work long hour days to meet deadlines. I love working under pressure and love the idea of meeting new people and working with lots of different clients. Although working in PR is hard, I think it will teach me a lot of skills that are required in many fields of work. I think a job in PR provides individuals the opportunity to learn and develop their skills, so they can succeed to the best of their abilities in the workplace. I also feel it will help me develop as a person through the ability to express myself through the content I create. Working in PR will also improve my confidence whilst also gaining a wealth of experience in a very exciting industry.

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All in all,  PR is a versatile and exciting job that means no day will ever be the same. I enjoy the fact that PR is fast-paced, pressurizing and will keep me on my toes. To work in PR a person needs to be creative, being able to work on my own content and create my own pieces of material is something that really excites me. PR can lead to many different opportunities and there are lots of opportunities for development within the industry. There is an increased desire for PR services in business (Morris and Goldsworthy, 2016), and working in PR means there are lots of jobs out there and lots of different sectors to work in.

I look forward to pursuing my career in PR in the future!

Orlaith Strong is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on Twitter: @orlaith_strong and Linkedin: @orlaithstrong