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How to Start a Career in Public Relations

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16th August 21

Public relations careers are hugely popular due to the diversity, creativity and excitement involved in each role. No two days are ever the same and as a public relations professional, you must think on your feet to respond to incidents, activities and the public perception surrounding your client’s brand.

Being such a desirable career, competition for public relations jobs is fierce. That’s why you need to make sure you stand out to potential employers over the competition. You to have something on your CV that helps them see that you’re a perfect fit for the role on offer.

Though, as a degree in public relations isn’t essential, there’s more than one way to enter the PR industry. It may at first seem like an overwhelming array of options, but it actually allows you to choose the path into PR that suits you best.

Get Public Relations Work Experience

While studying public relations is no doubt beneficial, some employers place more value on experience. Many PR professionals have entered the industry without qualifications and have climbed their way to the top of the ladder. So, nothing is stopping you from doing the same.

PR companies are often happy to take you on for short stints of work experience if you’re prepared to offer your time for free. This provides an excellent opportunity to watch PR professionals at work, gain job experience and hone your skills.

Public relations work experience is also hugely beneficial as it gives you a chance to see if a PR career is for you. PR is incredibly fast-paced, requires confidence and quick thinking. Work experience helps employers see that you’ve experienced this style of work and you’ve gained the skills to hit the ground running. As a result, they will have far more confidence in placing you in a professional PR role.

learndirect - start a career in public relations with work experience

Develop Desirable PR Skills

To be a successful PR professional you need to have a particular skillset. Working in this area of communications requires you to be able to get your point across quickly and concisely. You also need to change your writing style for different audiences, using various tones and adapting your message for diverse platforms and outlets.

Handling the media is also an important part of the job as you need to know how to effectively raise the profile of client brands. This is why courses in Press, Publicity and Profile Raising can be incredibly beneficial.

If you’re thinking about going into a more public-facing role, like crisis communications, courses in public speaking will help you manage any nerves you might have.

Taking any courses related to public relations will help you develop highly desirable skills, and many of these courses can be completed over a short time. This is perfect for those who can’t commit to long periods of study.

Studying highly-related courses can also help employers see you as a better fit for their company when weighing up candidates.

Study a Degree in Public Relations

If you’re able to take time out to study a public relations degree, you can gain a range of skills and knowledge. This includes a deeper understanding of the origin of public relations, its importance and the many different public relations strategies and tactics.

Being studied over three or four years, public relations undergraduate courses look at each aspect of PR in great detail. So, you are fully versed and confident in every area by the time you graduate.

You will explore everything from the importance of ethics in public relations, to the many ways brand messages can be communicated, and the impact of internet on public relations. This is incredibly useful for a career as dynamic as PR, which requires you to be knowledgeable about many evolving elements.

Public relations degree courses are a great way to prove to employers that you have in-depth knowledge of PR activities. Plus, if your degree includes a year working in industry, you’ll have the practical skills and work experience to go with it.

You’ll just need to be prepared to commit the time and money needed to study at university. You can find out if university is for you in our blog.

learndirect - start a career in public relations through a degree or a shorter online course

Take an Online Public Relations Course

If you want to study professional courses in public relations but don’t have the time to study a degree, online courses are an excellent alternative.

Many public relations online courses are accredited by industry associations and can get you qualified in much less time, like those offered by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR). These courses have been designed by seasoned professionals to give you the skills and techniques to impress employers.

In addition to this, the courses can be studied at a time and place that suits you. So, no matter if you’re juggling work or family commitments with your education, you can still make this career switch.

The CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations is the ideal stepping stone into a career in public relations. You will learn everything you need to get started, from creating content for different platforms to identifying audiences and pitching ideas.

CIPR qualifications are also internationally recognised, as they are the only global Royal Chartered professional body for Public Relations Practitioners. Meaning you can apply for roles in the UK and overseas!

Start a PR Course Today

If you’re ready to take the next step to a career in public relations, learndirect can help. As the leading UK online learning provider, we have many courses that will facilitate your career switch.

If you’d like more information on our CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations, our Course Executives will be happy to walk you through everything it offers. They can tell you what to expect when you enrol and how the course will help your career.

Find out more by calling 01202 006 464, contacting our team directly online or clicking to view the course in more detail below.

learndirect - study public relations through a learndirect online PR course

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