Careers in PR
Public relations is an excellent choice of career for anyone who has a way with words, enjoys building relationships and constantly seeks a challenge.
It takes a particular skillset to do well; not only do you need to write creatively, you need on-point investigative skills and the confidence to put yourself out there and connect with people. Identifying and nurturing key individuals in the industry will help you communicate your clients’ brand message to their target audience.
PR is often thought of as a glamorous job, partly because of its involvement with the media and association with award ceremonies and celebrities. This, among other reasons, makes PR a highly competitive job, so you’ll need to stand out to employers to have a chance of securing the role.
Thankfully, the public relations and communications industry is growing at a rapid rate, with the number of employees increasing year on year. For those interested in pursuing a career in PR, employment opportunities are frequently becoming available.
What Is Public Relations in Marketing
Public relations is part of the marketing mix, with particular emphasis on the promotion of a brand. Unlike advertising, though, its sole focus isn’t on making a sale.
PR tactics and campaigns play the long game. Their aim is to build and sustain a positive brand image for their client; one that improves their reputation and increases trust and credibility. These elements take time to establish and enhance.
Those with a career in PR do this strategically by developing and nurturing relationships with various stakeholders; be it journalists, the media, government agencies, bloggers or industry influencers. Then, they leverage these outlets to convey the carefully constructed messages they want to communicate.
Outside of using media outlets, PR professionals communicate this same message at every opportunity. By mentioning and promoting the brand in online and offline spaces, the message is communicated in a careful and controlled manner.
The goal is to get the brand to be viewed in a certain way and make it a household name for all the right reasons. Essentially, the ultimate purpose is to increase sales or attract interest in the brand message, particularly if the client is an influential figure.
How Much Do Public Relations Jobs Pay?
A career in PR isn’t just dynamic and exciting, it can also be a way to earn a great salary. The average salary across the industry is £42,700, but the highest-paid public relations professionals can earn anywhere up to £75,000.
A public relations salary, UK professionals, can vary depending on job title, but also on the capacity in which you work. In many instances, salaries on average are better when you work in-house as opposed to agency side. You can also earn more if you decide to become a freelance PR professional.
In-house, the highest-paid PR jobs are in technology, financial services, and consumer services, whereas the lower-paid PR jobs are typically in local government, charities, and central government sectors.
What Is a Job in Public Relations Like
Jobs in public relations can have glamorous perks like working with celebrities, being on television and attending award shows. but this shouldn’t be expected as everyday occurrences.
Depending on the brand you work with and the job title you hold, you may spend more of your time working behind the scenes. Granted, a Spokesperson or Crisis Communications Specialist would more than likely appear as the face of the brand in their role, but there are many other PR jobs that aren’t public-facing.
What every career in public relations has in common is that they aren’t confined to standard 9-5 hours. Breaking news can occur at any time and should it affect your client, you’ll need to be ready to respond. You may have to prepare crisis communications, release a statement to the media or update digital campaigns.
You’ll also need to dedicate time to networking, with plenty of time spent finding people and outlets that will help you deliver your clients’ messages effectively. Once identified, you’ll need to put in the groundwork to connect with them and grow the all-important relationship. This could mean taking contacts to lunch, catching up with them at their place of work or simply having a phone call to pitch ideas.
Outside of this, you will focus your energy on creating ideas of how to best present your client’s brand to the public. This could involve anything from campaigns on social media to participating in community events.
You’ll meet with each client to listen to what they want to achieve, hear their concerns and formulate a plan. After which, you will present your ideas for the PR campaign to them and, with their approval, put your plan into action.
How to Become a Public Relations Manager for Celebrities
If the glitzier public relations careers are what you’re aiming for, you can absolutely align yourself with those kinds of professional opportunities.
A Celebrity Public Relations Manager is a public relations professional who specialises in helping celebrities with their public image. They are widely used by famous actors, authors, singers and sports stars, and are directly involved with the more glamorous aspects of public relations.
As a public relations manager for celebrities, you manage all media relations on behalf of your client. This involves writing press releases, fielding questions from the media, releasing statements, accompanying the celebrity on the red carpet, and attending press interviews.
You would also generate your own publicity for your client; pitching story ideas to relevant outlets and coordinating periods of publicity around their projects. This approach helps rising stars, those at the top of their game, and veterans needing an age-appropriate image reinvention.
You would also respond swiftly and effectively to any negative press related to your client, so they continue to have a good reputation and secure more work in their area.
It’s an exciting and dynamic job that requires you to be available 24/7 and will certainly expose you to the world of the rich and famous. If you want to secure this job, you will need to prove your worth as celebrities would typically have their pick of the PR bunch.
While not essential for a PR career, getting qualified through an industry-specific course or degree would help demonstrate your knowledge. As would gaining further useful skills and experience in talent management, television production, Press, Publicity and Profile Raising.
Besides this, work experience in PR is the best way to get into celebrity dedicated PR agencies.
Getting Started in Public Relations
Anyone can make a start in public relations if they are willing to work hard and be committed to the profession.
You will also need to have a good understanding of English, though outside of this, there are no set qualifications to secure a position.
Entry level roles, such as a Public Relations Assistant, can be secured without prior knowledge or experience. There are also opportunities to complete an internship or an apprenticeship, or undergo unpaid work experience to bump up your knowledge before attempting to find employment.
While you don’t need to have qualifications to work in public relations, they certainly help. Public relations is fast paced with a lot of moving parts. Without knowledge of the industry, it could be overwhelming and take you some time to find your feet. Qualifications not only prove that you know your stuff, they also show how serious you are about this career path.
If you can demonstrate to employers that you can hit the ground running, they are more likely to take notice of you over unqualified candidates vying for the same job.
Where to Study Public Relations?
You can study public relations from wherever is convenient for you. Should you prefer learning in a group, public relations courses are offered at college, undergraduate and post-graduate level in classrooms throughout the UK.
If sticking to a set timetable of classes, or going back into full-time education isn’t convenient for you, there’s also the option to study PR courses online.
Choosing to study your public relations course online allows you to get qualified around your existing commitments. So, if you need to study around your current job or family commitments, you can.
You can take a CIPR Foundation Award in Public Relations to get all the knowledge you need to start your career. Accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), you’ll gain a globally recognised qualification, opening your PR employment opportunities to both UK and overseas employers. These and many other public relations courses can be studied online from the comfort of your own home with learndirect.
Don’t put off your move into a public relations career any longer. The PR courses available online through learndirect can help you progress into any avenue of public relations. Whether it be the glitz and glamour of celebrity management or otherwise.
If you don’t know which is the best course to take, our Course Executives can help you decide. Give them a call today to discuss your interests and aspirations and they will put you on the path to the course that suits you best.