Interested in a career in public relations? Working within the PR sector can be a hugely rewarding career with endless opportunities to specialise in areas such as sport, consumer and tech PR. Job competition in the public relations industry can be fierce, but by following our top tips, you can make yourself stand out from the crowd and get that dream PR job.
10 top tips
If you’ve decided that a career in public relations is for you, having a clear vision of which area and what kind of role you wish to work in is a great first step in setting yourself apart. Here are another 10 tips to get a head-start on your PR journey…
- Get a qualification
Consider a PR or other relevant communications qualification
- Join the industry association
Join the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) to network at events and stay up-to-date on the latest industry news and job opportunities in Ireland.
- Promote yourself
A polished LinkedIn and online presence will do your job prospects no harm. Contribute to industry discussions online and on social media. Likewise, meet up with peers working in the sector, attend networking events and seek to build real-life relationships.
Immerse yourself in your PR area of choice. See our top tips for starting in a specialist field.
- Work in the media
Write for a local or college newspaper, magazine or website. As well as improving your writing skills, this will impart a journalist perspective and greatly benefit your future PR pitches.
- Start your own blog
No matter the topic, this will tangibly demonstrate your writing skills, creativity and enterprise.
- Volunteer for public relation officer roles
Be it working as a PRO for your local GAA club or managing a non-profit organisation’s social media account, there are great opportunities to cut your teeth in PR while helping the clubs, societies or charities that are important to you.
- Consider an internship or graduate placement
This is a great way to get a start in the profession – not only does it allow you to gain invaluable experience, it is chance to impress and secure a long-term role. This does not have to be working for free. Comit offers a paid graduate programme for example.
- Seek an advanced qualification
Distinguish yourself further with a more public relations-focused Master’s degree.
- Check out opportunities with Ireland’s leading tech PR agency
Keep an eye on Comit’s careers page for opportunities to join a company that is the best in its sector
What is public relations?
If you’re still unsure whether public relations is the right career path for you, it’s helpful to get a good idea of what exactly PR is. While books have been written on the subject, essentially public relations involves generating positive media coverage for an organisation through means that do not require direct payment.
Public relations professionals do this through tools and methods like writing and issuing press releases, creating and sharing content, and arranging interviews between members of the organisation and members of the press. Managing and gaining positive exposure for organisations can also include the organisation of photo shoots and the management of social media accounts. At Comit, our passion is client growth, and this guides all of our PR activities. It is our job to focus on the communication activities that will drive business success for our clients.
In-house vs. agency
Deciding whether to work in-house or in an agency is another consideration when pondering your career path. While the tools at your disposal and same basic principles apply for both, the experience can be very different.
The greatest difference you will find between the two involves breadth versus depth. An agency job typically involves working across multiple clients and incorporates a wide range of activities. In contrast, in-house will involve more focused work with a single company. It’s up to you to decide whether you prefer living, breathing and getting to know the ins-and-outs of a particular brand, or whether you feel variety is the spice of life and long for the challenge of applying your skills across fresh scenarios.
There are some characteristics that everyone in PR is likely to have, but the profession is wide enough to cater for all interests. Depending on your preferences, you may be drawn to technology PR, corporate PR, consumer PR, business-to-business PR, political PR, financial PR, healthcare PR – the list goes on!
At Comit, we all have some inclination towards tech, from those who are slaves to the latest smartphone or gadget, to those who closely follow the latest big news in the tech industry. We all have a passion and interest in the area, which makes working here lots of fun!
With these tips, you should have plenty of ideas on how to lay the foundations for a long and successful career in public relations. There’s little along the path to your dream job in PR that can’t be overcome with determination, patience and hard work.
For more advice and public relations insight, follow Ireland’s leading technology PR agency blog.