Why PR is the perfect job no one knows about

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Why PR Is The Perfect Job No One Knows About

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may know I've been working for a PR agency in London for just over two months. When I tell people that I work in Public Relations, they tend to nod and say "ahh.. nice!", in the way that people speak when they have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. So today I want to chat to you about what working in PR means, what the job entails and why it's a wonderfully varied and exciting job that no one knows about.

To explain in the simplest of terms, PR is essentially the communications middleman. We connect brands with the media, giving companies a platform to raise awareness around what they do within their industry. Of course, there are different types of PR for different types of media, and most will probably recall celebrity PR's and political spin doctors as examples (mainly because they tend to receive the worst press!). Fellow bloggers will be much more aware of PR's due to their direct experiences, whether positive or negative with them.

To the general public however, you could say PR is an invisible job. There's so much work that goes into getting brands into the mainstream media, and it's all carried out behind the scenes, on the behalf of the client. This means that most people I talk to have no idea what I actually do on a day-to-day basis. No day is ever the same, as I juggle responsibilities over a range of clients across a host of industries.

Working in PR means you need to have good communication skills in all areas: reading, comprehension (there's a difference between the two) writing and speaking. We are the eyes and ears of everything going on in the world and industries that are relevant to our clients. We then need to be able to communicate this to journalists and why our clients are part of the change going on. And we spend a lot of time on the phone trying to get this message across to them. When this works, like magic, news appears about our client in the press. Et voila!

The most interesting and favourite part of my job is writing. Everything I write is attached to a specific brief, audience and brand message, and I love the structure this provides. I found out late in my third year of university that jobs in writing existed in sectors other than journalism, writing and publishing. I wanted to find a career which would enable me to write on a daily basis, but none of these options appealed to me. It's a shame that no one knows that PR is an amazing opportunity for budding writers - your name is never going to be at the bottom of an article when you're representing a client, making us practically ghost writers.

No one enjoys every apect of their job, and some parts I like less, such as coverage reporting and phone pitching to the media. However, the beauty of my job is the variety. I may have to work on a slightly boring task for 20 minutes, but I know that the next task will be exciting! The single most satisfying part of the job has to be seeing coverage your team has drafted, pitched and secured go online. It makes all the slog worth it, as well as giving you a happy client! It can be stressful and hectic, sometimes rarely quiet, but it's always interesting.

I'm learning about topics that I never knew about before, simply because I need to stay constantly up-to-date with the news (data protection and blockchain anyone?). PR requires a lot of reading and understanding topics you'll have previously known nothing about, and getting up to speed quickly. My job can feel so whirlwind and hurried, and I was very tired during the first few weeks as I got to grips with my responsibilities. I now feel much more comfortable and confident in my ability, though it can still feel very fast-paced!

I would say that PR feels like an invisible job because our names are never present at the end of an article, that belongs to the journalist. We are the voice representing our brands in the media, like an exterior department that is never publicly credited. Our audience is not supposed to know we're there, and if they do, then we're not doing our jobs properly! Therefore, it's unlikely that most people will understand what working in PR means, because often they are not aware the job itself exists. It just makes explaining what I do a lot harder!

Thanks for reading! Were you aware of PR and what they actually do? What have been your experiences with them?

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Why PR Is The Perfect Job No One Knows About

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