We are always pleased when we are contacted by those considering a career in PR to ask our advice, to discuss our experiences, and the reality of a life in PR. Often these people fall into two camps:
The first group talk about ‘understanding a clients’ business at all levels, from all angles’, producing ‘targeted multi-layered media campaigns’, they point out how important market research is to understand the audience in question, the ask about ROI and how PR fits into business plans. They understand that a good event can be measured by how it has not trended on twitter and although some Champagne may be drunk as a toast or celebration, it will generally involve people important to the client, not minor reality-TV personalities.
The second group feel they have the ‘skill set’ to ‘get into PR’ and hope, one day, they will be ‘given a chance’. When we ask about the qualities and attributes they feel necessary for a career in PR, we are told how friendly and likeable they are, how they are ‘good’ at organising events and ‘getting a lot of publicity’ on social media. They often point out that a good event can be measured by how much bubbly is drunk and how many ‘celebs’ attend, illustrated by ‘selfies’.
Of course Promotion has a place in PR, as do advertising and marketing but, to those considering Public Relations as a career, we do have to make clear that Promotion and PR are different disciplines that require different skills and qualities. Figure out what you have to offer, then follow the path that is right for you.
Image copyright tOrange.co.uk