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How to Start a Career in PR

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Do you consider yourself to be an influential person?  Do you understand the power and importance of reputation to a business? Do you have the confidence to take on even the most demanding challenges?  If yes, there’s every chance you could be the next PR guru to take the industry by storm!

These days, public relations is essentially just another term for reputation management.  Now more than ever, managing the perception of the public in general in order to boost a brand’s prowess has never been more important.  The Internet has made it easier than ever before for the world to broadcast and share its opinions, which is exactly what the masses are doing.  As such, reputation management has become a full-time priority in every business environment – one that is overseen and controlled by PR professionals.

What do PR Professionals do?

Just a few of the standard daily duties PR professionals handle include:

  • Monitoring online outlets and social media for relevant chatter
  • Liaising with the media and scripting press releases
  • Devising short and long-term PR strategies and campaigns
  • Working to reverse PR crises and negative press
  • Representing the business or client in a variety of scenarios

Am I Right For the PR Job?

There are two primary qualities necessary to make it in high level PR – the first of which being a naturally inquisitive nature.  The reason being that it will be your job to find out exactly what is being said about your client, who is saying it, why it is being said and ultimately what to do about it.  On top of this, an extremely high level of confidence is of the utmost importance, as you will spend most of your time interacting with various people in a variety of settings.

Along with being naturally extroverted and having a highly investigative nature, PR professionals require additional skills and qualities including:

  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • The ability to constantly monitor multiple media platforms
  • Comprehensive multitasking skills
  • Quick, logical and objective thinking even during times of extreme pressure
  • Creativity and advanced interpersonal skills
  • The ability to work to extremely demanding deadlines

Ongoing Progression

Getting started in the industry for the first time, an entry-level PR assistant can expect to take home approximately £25,000 every year.  Those working in the more advanced position of PR manager will usually receive around £40,000 per year, while PR heads and executives can easily earn £75,000.  To become a respected and influential name in high level PR is to be able to write your own ticket.

Professional Lifestyle

The PR profession is incredibly dynamic and it is rare for any two days to ever be even remotely similar, let alone the same.  One day things seem to be going in an ideal direction for your client, while the next day you could be dealing with a PR crisis of spectacular proportions.  Being ready for anything at any time comes with the territory, which may mean international travel, unpredictable working hours and the kinds of deadlines that seem almost impossible to keep.

“I actually started my career in marketing, but ended up making the switch to Public Relations as it was always people I was passionate about.  I absolutely love the fact that I never really know what to expect when I get up each morning, or even when my phone rings, for that matter. It’s like “here’s what’s happening, here’s what you’ve got to do, so go do it!” more often than not. And that’s what I love – really putting my mind to the job and producing the results asked of me…super satisfying!”Lucy Jessop, PR Assistant

Taking the Next Step

While it is technically possible to get into public relations without a related qualification, you may struggle to break into the industry if you do know how it all works.  The better you understand the profession and the business side of PR in general, the higher the likelihood you’ll get the opportunity to put your skills to good use.

Here at Brentwood Open Learning College, we offer a range of high-quality online public relations courses at a variety of levels:

Diploma in Public Relations (Level 4)

For those interested in becoming the next legendary PR figure, our Level 4 Diploma in Public Relations provides the perfect start. World-class teachings from industry leaders and respected academics – all exclusively available for home study.

Certificate in Public Relations (Level 3)

We also offer an impeccable-quality Level 3 Public Relations Certificate, which explores the nature of the profession and the industry at an intermediate level.

Public Relations Course (Level 2)

Begin building a solid educational foundation with our Level 2 Public Relations Course, which explores the fundamentals of beginning a career in professional PR.

Public Relations Course (Level 1)

For an entry-level exploration of the topic, our Level 1 Course outlines the basics of the PR profession from a business perspective.