If you’re an extroverted people-person with good communication and writing skills then a career in Public Relations could be the way forward. Public Relations (PR) is defined by the PRCA (Public Relations and Communications Association) as “… the way organisations communicate with the public, promote themselves, and build a positive reputation and public image”.
It is commonly perceived that Public Relations and Marketing are similar with many people holding the view that they are the co-dependable however this is not the case. CP Communications compared the two industries and clearly show that Marketing is sales orientated whilst PR focuses on the management of reputation through generating positive media coverage and stakeholder communication.
PR is a growing field because our focus on relationship management is subconsciously regarded by consumers as more legitimate than advertising and marketing as people generally recognise that adverts and marketing strategies are driven by the organisations desire to increase sales. It is an exciting time to work in Public Relations, due to its growth and increasing popularity as well as all the changes in PR that are being brought about by the ever changing young social media platforms. Public Relations is much less about word of mouth due to the internet where all stakeholders have the opportunity to voice their opinions. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as well as press releases and public events are all mediums which the Public Relations and Communications profession use. I personally look forward to being part of the revolution which utilises these platforms to empower the PR message.
As a current undergrad studying Public Relations at Leeds Beckett University, I am certain that PR is an expanding sector of industry that would be stimulating and rewarding to practice and be involved in.
Leeds Beckett has one of the most established PR degrees in Europe where you can gain the expertise needed for a successful career. I asked a couple of my fellow course mates why they chose to study Public Relations at University and what they want to pursue a career in the industry. Emma answered
“I wanted a career in a fast pace environment. I discovered in school that I enjoyed writing and communication based subjects. I wanted the opportunity to communicate with lots of people in my career.”, whilst Katie replied “I like the variety that PR brings, it has countless different social aspects. It’s not a standard office job.”
On the Chartered Institute of Public Relations website it states that “Essentially, Public Relations can offer an incredibly varied and challenging career, encompassing many different activities”. This is an advantage of the PR trade if you are someone who gets bored easily. Every day in PR holds a new challenge and seemingly there is never the same job to do day after day. A lot of the work in PR is quite hands on, with short and snappy deadlines and no chance to be uninterested as most agencies typically working with multiple clients at one time.
There are many other advantages of a job in Public Relations. Talking is a key aspect of the PR profession, with practitioners having to constantly speak to a variety of different people, from clients to the public. If conversing with others comes as a second nature to you, then you will enjoy being a PR professional. Networking is another aspect of PR that is beneficial as you always have opportunities to meet new people and broaden your connections and as the saying goes; ‘It’s about who you know, not what you know’. Other bonuses could include free perks given to you by your clients, the possibility of travelling with the job and typically a good salary.
I can see PR in almost all aspects of life and would personally enjoy the challenge of shaping opinion in a changing world. The CIPR composed 3 questions to help someone to decide whether PR is the profession for them. These consisted of whether you have an interest in what’s going on around you in society, whether you have good communication skills and whether you cope well under pressure such as time constraints and having to consider the stake of a brands reputation.
I believe that PR is a good match to my outgoing and persuasive personality as well as my interest in people. If you have comparable personality traits to this, alongside drive and motivation, then a career in Public Relations would definitely be worth considering.