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Five Tips for Graduates Entering the World of PR

10.09.15

Account Researcher and brand new Jammer, Rebecca, talks about making the transition from being a graduate in journalism to the world of PR…

The last few months have been extremely exciting at JAM. We’ve celebrated account wins and started work on new, exciting projects for our existing clients. We’ve also added three people to the JAM team – there’s me, Rebecca Ore, and talented creatives Alex Cupial-Jones and Lauren Digby.

I am now a full-time Account Researcher at JAM and I am also about to graduate from Salford University with a Masters degree in Journalism.

I am well aware of the fear and anxiety that comes with leaving University and entering the world of work. I’ve had moments when I’ve questioned if I have chosen the right course and wanted to chuck it all in, degree certificate and all! But with more experience and guidance from the lovely JAM team, I’ve found the light at the end of the tunnel… a full-time job before my dissertation deadline!

For any graduate who has been in a similar position to me (stressing over your CV and worrying about exam results) here’s a list of learnings that are worth bearing in mind before you enter the world of PR:

1) Get as much experience as possible

Experience is the most important tool for finding a job in PR. To get a job in an agency you’re most likely going to need at least six to 12 months experience. Plus, if you impress an employer while on work experience, you could be offered your first job! 

2) Don’t be afraid to ask questions

It’s a fast paced and sometimes intimidating industry, so you can’t afford to miss a trick. If you don’t understand something, ASK! One of your co-workers will be happy to explain things in detail and give you a thorough brief (no one was born a PR goddess).

3) Keep yourself immersed in the news

You have to keep your finger on the pulse of all news. Keep up to date with the newspapers and what’s trending on social media, especially looking out for stories affecting your company’s client sectors.

4) Perfect your writing skills

Whatever subject you’ve studied, writing is key for PRs. It can be hard learning to adapt to different sectors and getting used to a company’s house style, but keep practicing and take on board feedback from your colleagues. 

5) Don’t be disheartened by your first sell-in

The art of selling in is one I am pleased to say I have started to master, but that is only after months and months of dreading picking up the phone. I’ve found the key is to plan how you’re going to pitch the story and researching the journalist you are about to pitch to.  After your first hundred calls, it’ll be like riding a bike!

Working in PR means no two days are the same. It’s not all champagne and fancy events, although I’m pleased to say that does happen every so often! But as my colleagues have often told me, if you’re willing to chuck yourself in and learn the ropes, it’ll be a very dynamic and rewarding career.

Good luck!

If you’re interested in working in PR and would like a work experience placement, email JAM’s MD, Jaime Gee, with your CV…or maybe send in cake or chocolate to really tempt us!

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