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What do I need to get a job in PR?

Published: 07 January 15 Written by Administrator Blog

Earlier this week SE10 was asked to contribute to a blog post by PR recruitment specialist Sarah Stimson, surveying work experience, internship, apprenticeship, graduate scheme and entry-level job opportunities across the UK’s top PR agencies. In her article Sarah stresses the importance of gaining PR experience before applying for an entry-level position at an agency, but at SE10 we’re still open to giving young people with the right skills a shot, even without previous PR experience under their belt.

Gaining experience in the workplace is important. It helps young talent grow in confidence and allows them to build up their skillset before being thrown into full-time work. But does it have to be in the exact field where you are planning to develop your career? Our view is that simply learning to work hard and developing the right transferable skills are priceless. Here two account staff, one with and one without prior experience in PR, share their experiences of getting into the profession.

Yasmine Triana, Senior Account Executive

"After doing an English Literature and Theatre Studies degree I didn’t have a clue what to do after University, only that I was good at writing and good with people. My career advisor told me to try out PR, but by that point I’d missed the deadlines for the graduate schemes. So I searched daily for other opportunities and submitted forms/emailed/rang what felt like hundreds of companies. I wanted to try PR in a variety of sectors, so I secured internships with a healthcare and technology agency, and an entertainment and celebrity agency. After two months of unpaid internships, I spent the next few weeks contacting PR agencies directly to get my first PR agency job – I found that calling or emailing them rather than going through a recruiter, even if there was no sign of a vacancy on the website, worked really well. They were impressed that I’d put myself out there and that I was dedicated (probably to the point of annoyance) to getting a job. As well as gaining invaluable experience in working with clients as well as with journalists, I learnt a lot about working in an office in my first PR agency job. I think that was actually the most important lesson for me."

Chloe Doyle, Account Manager

"I did a degree in English and trained as a journalist because I just loved writing at school and I wasn’t sure what career path I should go down. After graduating, I saw journalism as a perfect career for me because hopefully you got to travel, give your opinion, write about current affairs and be creative, while meeting a million people along the way. I did about six unpaid journalism internships in London before being offered a job, writing for five local southern newspapers – part of the same newspaper group. I got the job because of relentless job searching, dedication, and I think, because of the number of internships I was willing to do to get a job in the industry. However, all this experience allowed me to apply for a more stable position with SE10, a PR agency that has writing as a core competency. I didn’t have any prior experience working in PR or communications, so one could say, I used my transferable writing and people skills to get the job. Any experience is good experience, you never know when it might come in handy!"

Whether you are looking for two weeks’ work experience, a six-month placement or a permanent position, SE10 is always interested to hear from bright young writers, with or without communication-specific experience. It’s also worth noting that unlike both Yasmine and Chloe’s experiences we would not expect you to work for free. We believe that all staff, whatever their tenure or seniority level, should be paid a fair wage for their contribution to the company, and as such are a member of the PRCA-PR Week campaign to end unpaid internships. What’s more, all interns that are taken on have a real chance of moving into a permanent job, which was the case for some of SE10’s current account executives, proving that hard work really does pay off.

CVs and accompanying cover letters should be sent to hr@se10.com

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