PR seems to be a recurring sector on my Day in the Life series. It may be because journalism works closely with the sector, or it may just be that many people who work in PR are interested in the series. Who knows? I’ve been learning a little about PR this week (more on that later!) so it seemed apt to interview someone who works in the PR sector, for a little insight.
This week, I spoke to Sophie Howard, a 24-year-old junior account executive.
Here’s what Sophie had to say!
How did you get into your job?
When I was first applying for university I actually wanted to do journalism! All my GSCE and A Level lesson choices were chosen around me wanting to study journalism.
When I went away to university in 2010, I lasted 4 days and came home.
Journalism and university life just wasn’t for me at that particular time.
I came home, worked for a year then applied to study Public Relations which I knew was a similar line of study and work to journalism.
When I left university in 2014, I was actually lucky enough to go straight into a job as a Junior Account Executive, which I am still in now!
What do you like about your job?
The best thing about my job is that each day is never the same and we are always working with clients in all areas of work.
What did you like about your degree?
As for my degree, I liked pretty much most of it!
One of my favourite modules was Crisis Management; having to learn how a company would react to a crisis and all the media attention that would follow.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
Some days my job can be challenging in various ways. For example, a client may need a piece of working doing quickly which means you have to put the work you are currently doing on hold.
There are also the challenges of meeting deadlines, crisis meetings or difficult clients (which thankfully hardly happens!)
What were some of the challenges of your degree?
Challenges in regards to my degree, for me, was definitely overcoming my fear of speaking in public.
Much of my degree consisted of presentations, which terrified me!
What do you think are some of the challenges in the creative sector?
I think one of the main challenges facing the creative sector is the fight to be noticed in a competitive and constantly growing industry.
Blogging, for example is such a fantastic outlet for anyone of any age to create content for the world to see, but with so many new bloggers emerging I think it’s hard to get noticed straight away and you really have to focus on building your brand and audience.
How did your degree help you?
My degree has helped me to get a job in Public Relations and also understand the industry much more.
When I applied to study PR I had absolutely no idea what it entailed.
After studying my degree, I learnt so much about an industry that is over 100 years old and constantly improving and growing.
Why did you pick to work the sector that you work in?
I chose to work in Public Relations because it was similar to journalism. Ever since around year 9 at school, I always knew I wanted to work in the media in some way.
After studying journalism and realising it wasn’t the right career choice for me, I chose PR.
Describe a typical day in your job.
My job is different every day as we never know what is going to happen!
However, a typical day for me would be starting at 10am and updating the social media accounts for our clients. This takes around 1/2 hours depending if I have other jobs on or the phone is pretty busy.
After I have finished social media, I could be doing anything! This includes writing press releases, putting together forward features for each client, answering phone calls… No day is the same for me! I usually finish around 5pm.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into your sector and/or the creative industry?
The advice I would give to anyone wanting to work in PR is to do your research, try and get some work experience and start to produce a portfolio of work.
When I was applying for PR jobs, I had work experience with a local newspaper and my blog under my belt, which showed I had experience with writing and speaking to journalists, etc.
My blog is always a talking point in job interviews too, so don’t be afraid to add it to your CV!