career: PR (Public Relations)

What's it all about

Public Relations (PR) is about managing reputation and creating relationships on behalf of a client.. A career in PR involves gaining support for clients, as well as trying to influence opinion in their favour.

As a PR officer, you would use all the different types of media to form relationships for your client. The idea is to spread the message of your client and gain them as many followers and as much support as possible through your contacts and media outlets.

The great thing about PR is gives you experience with journalism, radio, television, video and social media all in one job role. It’s up to you to decide which media is the most relevant and will help your client the most, so a lot of the job involves collaborating with your client to understand what it is they want to achieve and how to do it.

What will I be doing? 

What will I be doing?

  • Planning, developing and implementing PR strategies;
  • Liaising with colleagues
  • Liaising with and answering enquiries from media
  • Researching, writing and distributing press releases to targeted media
  • Collating and analysing media coverage
  • Writing and editing in-house magazines, case studies, speeches, articles and annual reports
  • Preparing and supervising the production of publicity brochures, handouts, direct mail leaflets, promotional videos, photographs, films and multimedia programmes
  • Coordinating photo opportunities

Routes in

While it is possible to get a degree in PR, there are a number of options available if uni isn’t for you. Many PR companies will take on work experience for a week or two, and this is a great way to make your CV look good and to start making connections.

There are also many companies that will offer PR internships, these are like more in depth and much longer work experience placements that allow you to really experience what it’s like to work in PR. Some interns can be offered a permanent position at the end of their placement, if they’ve made an impression.

However, perhaps the most effective way to get on the job training in the PR industry is to do a PR apprenticeship. This involves you being a full time employee while training and gaining a qualification. The company you are doing your training with are able to develop your skills to be the employee they will want to hire at the end of your apprenticeship so there is a good chance of a job at the end. Even without a job offer, you will have gained at least a year of experience and relevant qualifications so finding a job won’t be too difficult.

What skills will I need 

What skills will I need

  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • An ability to multi task and manage your time effectively
  • A good level of organisation and planning
  • An interest in all forms of media
  • Phone skills
  • Email etiquette
  • Confidence
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Understanding of social media

Been there, done that


Anouska Cope, PR apprentice  

Anouska Cope, PR apprentice

It wasn’t until I got back from my gap year that I fully realised PR was a realistic option. I did my internship was a company called La Book which is a kind of creative events PR company. It was in about October I did that and then I started my apprenticeship with Salix in November 2013. It all started moving quite quickly once I made up my mind about what I wanted to do.

I don’t really have any regrets. I possibly could have done a bit more work experience, it might have helped if I knew a bit more about PR before my apprenticeship.

It was somewhere in the middle of Africa where I realised I was only going to uni because that’s what everyone else was doing and not because I wanted to go. I just knew deep down that it wasn’t the right route for me. I didn’t feel like it would help me in my career and I wasn’t passionate about any of the courses.

Expert opinion

Are you an expert in this field? Then we want you to tell us what it takes to make it in this industry. Get in touch by emailing us at hattie@unisnotforme.com to find out more.



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