PR Students: Guide to Building a New Career in Public Relations



Ronn Torossian, CEO, 5WPR

Though perceived as a long party, a career in Public Relations is more than popping champagne and expensive lunches. Thanks to the fierce competition for jobs, getting one’s first foot into a PR career can be a daunting process. However, that’s not to say a graduate cannot make it, because many have made it.

To launch a career successfully, PR students should stand out to increase their prospects. Several steps, highlighted below, can help a marketing student build a new career in PR.

Key Steps to Building A Career In PR

#1. Master Storytelling

Getting one’s points across easily and concisely is crucial within the marketing and communications space. So, entrants into the PR world need to master the art of writing for different audiences, using different tones, and messaging on different platforms.

Being imaginative and hooking an audience through a story’s plot is crucial for achieving each writeup’s objective.

#2. Watch Social Media

Previously, social media networks were not considered in hiring processes. However, times have changed, and hiring managers check social media to learn more about a candidate. Presenting a positive image of themselves on social media is of utmost importance to a PR student.

Recognizing that PR is about positive reputations, marketing, and communication, students should be conscious of what’s associated with their social media accounts.

#3. Marketing

Promoting one’s skills is essential for entrants into PR. Perfecting and marketing one’s brand can provide a great portfolio for someone working towards a career that involves marketing large brands.

For PR students, being bold with CVs and networking with industry experts can make a huge difference. Worth noting, attending PR-related events and talks can help marketing and communication novices get industry insights while collecting useful contacts.

#4. Why work in PR?

When applying for a marketing and communication role, PR students should understand why they want to work for a specific marketing agency.

Preparing for a role in PR involves conducting research and tailoring one application to a company’s needs. PR graduates should also research organizations they want to work for. This helps candidates tailor their CVs, thus increasing their employment opportunities.

As well, knowing why one wants to be in PR helps bring out their personality. Passion and enthusiasm for the industry cannot be trained into someone like core skills. Therefore having the hunger and drive to succeed in a PR career—drawn from understanding why one wants a career in PR— is essential.

#5. Get Immersed in media

Understanding the media landscape as it exists both online and offline helps PR students understand the stakeholders to whom one will be pitching ideas and stories. Plus, immersing oneself in media will accustom a PR student to what type of content gets results within different media agencies

Being hungry for information—including current affairs across different media— can help a student during interviews. Often, interviewers ask questions based on current affairs to assess whether a candidate is conversant with current discourses in the marketing space.

#6. Learn Transferable Skills and volunteer

While a degree is important for a career in PR, employers also look out for transferable skills one has learned from different industries as well as from volunteering. With many administrative skills being transferrable, PR students should seek internships that help them learn some essential office skills and earn experience in a corporate environment.

RONN TOROSSIAN - HOW MANY FOLLOWERS DO YOU NEED ON INSTAGRAM TO GET PAID?About the Author: Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR, one of America’s leading PR firms.