In our latest blog, our new account executive Huma Whitehouse asks our team what they wished they’d known before starting a career in PR…

There’s an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for.”

Public relations seems to be one of those industries which people with prior journalism or communications experience fall into. But PR is so much more than getting something in the public eye. So what do we do? We build relationships, we write stories, we give a brand a stronger presence and so much more.

PR is not a linear career, and those who work in it are rarely linear thinkers either. If you’re intrigued by PR as a career choice and want to know what it takes to succeed, then read on!

Below, the talented staff at Newsline share the things they wish they knew before starting their careers in PR….

Learn to multitask

Being a PR professional can be about juggling plates. It can be hard to keep yourself organised and complete your giant to-do list while keeping your clients happy. Figure out some organisation techniques, find out how you work under pressure and know that multi-tasking is part and parcel of an agency role. If the thought of juggling multiple clients scares you, explore in-house roles.

Learn to adapt

The way we consume information has changed beyond recognition. Everything is digital-first and we carry our news in our pockets. With the use of social media anyone and everyone can be the first to report a major news story if they’re first on the scene.

Working in communications is not only about writing press releases well – you need to have an eye for a great social media post, take pictures, shoot video and much more. Keeping up to date with how people consume information helps make sure we can adapt and remain relevant.

Work experience is key

Doing a form of summer internship or work experience while you’re still in education will kick start your career. It is important to enter the world of work with an understanding of the office environment and basic communications skills, which include structuring a press release, writing client emails, phone etiquette and social media in a business capacity.

PR is a demanding but rewarding career and no two days are the same, especially if you work in an agency.  Having some experience means you’re more likely to get a role straight after graduating.

Be aware of the news agenda

Although PR is evolving, a lot of what the industry does is still based around the current news agenda, nationally and regionally. Keeping up to date with news and key agendas for your clients is a valuable trait for any PR professional.

The written word is king

Whether you’re producing a press release, an email or a social media post, being able to write well and adapt your tone of voice to suit your clients is the bread and butter of PR.

Be yourself

People buy from people.  As a professional you need to be approachable, be seen to go the extra mile and care about your work to succeed. Every PR professional can offer something fresh and different, so never be afraid to put yourself out there.

It might seem like you need to be good at everything to do well in PR, but the truth is – if you’re self-motivated, adaptable, approachable and creative then PR might just be for you.