Going into PR as a graduate

Why PR?

Leaving university and not knowing which direction to take with your career is one of the most common feelings shared amongst students. If you’re a recent graduate, don’t feel like you are alone in not knowing what you want to do at this stage. I personally did not know the direction I definitely wanted to go in, and with the lack of resources available during a COVID-disturbed university experience, I wasn’t given any advice entering the working world. Leaving the comfort of studying was terrifying, but being able to choose my future career path was thrilling (and knowing I didn’t have to write another 4,000-word essay helped ease the fears of leaving university). 

So why should you consider PR? Well, for me, my favourite thing to do in the world is to sit down and have a good chat. That is PR- talking to journalists, colleagues, clients. This is a world of communication and if you think you’re pretty good at that, then there’s a chance you will fit within the world of PR. If you are someone that is interested in media as well as being up to date with what is going on in the world, then you should also love PR. 

As a person interested in the latest news, I spend my mornings searching the media for coverage of my clients, or journalists who might be interested in covering a story. This means reading a lot of articles whether it be in tech, fashion, health, crypto or even craft-brewing. There is truly no boundary of what I am learning about day-to-day and this makes the job even more interesting and appealing to me.

How to choose the right company for you

In an ideal world, everyone would be able to choose a company where they fit most, rather than taking the first job that comes their way. If you can, choose a company that focuses on what you are passionate about. Maybe you love gaming – you can do PR for that, or travelling – you can do PR for that too. There is an unlimited range of industries that all require PR, so choose one that interests you rather than what is easiest. That being said you might discover a new passion through a role that wasn’t your first option.

Gallium Ventures stood out to me when I took a look at their blog section and read articles that actually interested me. Creative campaigns that I had never heard of, from KFC hotels to fem-tech products, I was keen to hear more and talk to the voices behind them.

How to apply

There is a multitude of options in applying for roles. Depending on the level you wish to join at, you can apply through apprenticeship sites or through recruitment agencies. However, I would recommend doing your research on LinkedIn, choosing a company that really intrigues you and applying directly. Many companies offer graduate schemes you can apply to during your final year at university, which is a great opportunity to get straight into the working world, but they can be extremely competitive. Don’t feel disheartened if you don’t succeed through this option, as there are so many more available. 

Once you’ve chosen the company you wish to apply to, the most important part begins: your application. Many view cover letters as outdated, which might be the case for those in finance but if you are applying for a role that heavily focuses on writing, you should take this opportunity to show off your positive attributes. Sell yourself and show the company why they should want to hire you, what skills you can provide them with, rather than why you really want them. Do your research on what the company has achieved and where it is going, you should be up to date with their campaigns and what they are talking about. Show this off and you will differentiate yourself from the competition, as so many won’t be bothered to take the time to do this amongst completing a hundred applications. Then, when you have the chance to go for interviews, be yourself and be confident that you are worth hiring. And if it doesn’t work out, keep going. Don’t be afraid to ask why it didn’t work out so you know the areas you need to improve in and the next time you’ll smash it. 

 If you are at a crossroads and unsure which direction to take, don’t feel terrified, the right direction will become clear with time. If you are considering a career in PR, I hope these tips above helped. You will find the right match for you and then you can begin the real fun (and be able to get out of your overdraft). 

Goodluck, we’re rooting for you! 

Author avatar
Victoria Essex
PR newbie