Looking for your first job in PR? Some top tips to keep in mind:
The first thing you need to ask yourself is why you want to work in PR – and how much you really know about it. Knowing the answers to both of these questions is important: first, because recruiters and hiring managers are going to ask you both of them for sure, but also because that’s the only way for you to know if PR is the right career for you in the first place.
How do you choose the right agency?
When people apply for a position at Rostrum, it’s reassuring to know they’ve done a bit of research about our company and our clients. It’s not only flattering to hear that they’re interested in our business, but it also shows us that they understand the kind of work we do – and the sectors we serve – and possess a genuine interest in both.
What do you bring to the table?
Agencies will also be looking to see what skills and qualities you’ll bring to the team. In our case, we’re looking for people who are excited to learn, who are bright enough to understand complex topics, who are creative, who enjoy writing, who are confident enough to speak with CEOs and senior reporters, and who work well in a team. Above all else, we want people who are committed to delivering excellent results for our clients. All of those things are more interesting than where (or if) you got your degree, so be prepared to talk about the skills and qualities that make you right for the role.
Where have you been working up until now?
Seeing one (or more) PR internships on a CV is always appealing – but we’re also aware that not everyone has that option. What’s just as interesting is examples of where you’ve been proactive or creative or have communicated effectively – ideally in a business setting, but other examples can work well too. Recent grads don’t always have a lot of work experience to talk about and that’s OK. Maybe you worked in your mum’s law office over the summer, or wrote for a student newspaper, or you have your own blog. The key is to focus on any transferable skills that are relevant to a role in PR.
Who should I contact?
There is nothing wrong with using a catch-all email address or starting your cover letter with To Whom It May Concern – but it’s always better to make your initial pitch more targeted if possible. A quick scan of LinkedIn or the company website will often give you the name of the HR or Hiring Manager or, failing that, the Managing Director. Addressing your email to a specific person – and including an up-to-date CV, some details about why you want to work in PR, why you’ve chosen this particular agency, and what skills make you suitable for the role – will help your email to get noticed. And make sure you proof your emails and materials before you push send – strong writing skills and attention to detail are both attributes that are seen as important by PR people!
Rostrum is a full-service communications agency, offering PR, content and influencer marketing, social media, training and design. We are among the UK’s top 5 B2B agencies and a PR Week Top 100 agency, specialising in financial services, professional services, consumer and corporate work, as well as crisis management, content and influencer marketing and social media. Rostrum creates campaigns and content to help our clients punch above their weight and we measure everything we do, delivering exceptional value for client budgets.