From day one we were working with live clients, learning skills to utilise in the workplace, and encouraged to get out into the industry and get experience.
This meant that everyone graduated with a thorough understanding of the industry and how to succeed in finding a job.
I knew that getting work experience while studying was going to be vital in securing a job after university, so I worked as a junior consultant in a PR agency in Portsmouth during my second year, where I worked with some big clients such as the Dutch airline KLM. This really paid off as not only did I enter third year with a really good understanding of the industry that I could apply to my learning, but it also gave me the luxury of being able to focus on my studies in the final year without having to worry about getting experience.
Once my dissertation was in I started to apply for agencies that appealed to me and quite quickly secured a job as an account executive in a PR and marketing agency in Newbury. And this is probably my career highlight so far! Finding your first proper full-time job after three years of studying is a huge accomplishment and it made me realise how far I have come.
In my opinion, public relations is the way organisations, companies and individuals communicate with the public and media; there is a large focus on reputation. You will often hear that there’s no typical day in PR - however, I think that this can be misleading. A lot of the job can involve admin tasks and it’s definitely not all champagne and socialising, but it is certainly busy and varied!
As an account executive, a typical day will involve the following:
- Content creation, which can be anything from writing press releases to case studies.
- Pitching and responding to journalists who may be interested in client stories.
- Monitor client coverage and reporting the results – analytics is a large part of the job. It’s imperative that both the team and clients are aware of whether or not we are meeting the set objectives.
- Handling clients’ social media accounts.
- Researching potential new business and brainstorming ideas for campaigns.
This course is for you if you love working with people and want to work in a profession where there are always exciting new projects.
My tips to anyone looking for a career in marketing and PR are to have an interest in what’s happening in the world around you, you need to be aware of trends and issues. You also need to be a confident communicator and you should be able to cope well under pressure.