Written by Charlotte Francis • Published 21st February 2018 • 3 minute read
I had never planned to work in PR. Having geared my entire education towards a career in art and design. I became one of many ‘lost’ graduates to embark on a strange world beyond the comfort of my student loan. For two years I flitted between office admin roles and thinking I was destined to schedule appointments for other people, which held no promise of the creative career I once felt was in my path.
It wasn’t until a close friend completed a week’s work experience at The PHA Group that PR even crossed my radar. She told me “I think it might be for you”, while any work experience in PR would be unpaid I was more than willing to try something different.
The atmosphere in the office on my first day was frantic, but somehow that didn’t put me off, I found it exciting and young and I was eager to join in. Rather than the corporate world I once thought it was, work experience taught me that PR fundamentally revolves around ideas, thoughts and creative. PR can be anything you make of it, which is a notion that sits well with me.
It isn’t all about attending fun events and schmoozing the media with expensive lunches and dinners. You learn to adapt a varied set of skills. One day you might be writing a press release about the intricate design details of the inside of a watch, the next you could be speaking to high-profile journalists and influencers at press events.
What makes a good PR? A strong writer, with the ability to sometimes take on different personas and writing for different audiences whilst being aware of the appropriate tone. You’ll need to have an interest in the media and things happening in the world. It’s also crucial you can work under pressure, and not afraid of a fast-paced working environment. The rest you learn along the way.
I think that there’s a lot of graduates with degrees who think PR is for people who studied communications, marketing or business, but some of the most talented people I work with have English, design, tech and even athletics so, personally, I think it’s about your skills and experiences more than what you have studied.
PR is a very competitive industry with a lot of talented people. With two weeks work experience I was lucky enough to be offered a three-month internship with the Consumer & Lifestyle. After spending so long with no professional direction to find something I found exciting, fast-paced and interesting was incredibly motivating.
Now I work fulltime at PHA. So far, I’ve been subjected to so many experiences, from trying to find the perfect fancy dress costume for Ashley Banjo to running around Oxford Street frantically sourcing a teapot for a photoshoot. It’s unpredictable and it’s 100 miles per hour, but every day is different.