Looking for work experience? PR might be the place for you
Every day, young and hopeful 20-something creatives send off their CVs to their dream employers. They await the responses with baited breath – will it be that job at the esteemed fashion magazine? Perhaps the internship at the cutting edge advertising firm? At this point, many of those seeking to dive into the adult world of jobs (ones involving more than pulling pints) would be grateful for a polite, constructive no.
But the vast majority of these CVs will not even be deemed worthy of a response. Recruiters that do deign to reply will all too frequently use the phrase ‘not enough experience’ – words that are something of a death knell to any aspiring journalist, artist or designer.
If you don’t have the experience, you can’t get the job. But if you don’t get the job, how can you get the experience? It is a catch 22 that is all too familiar to anyone who has dipped a toe in the creative industries. No matter how inspired your ideas are, nor how willing you are to make copious amounts of coffee, it can appear that the employed and established are closing ranks on the ambitious and diverse.
One area that is bucking the trend in this respect? PR. The sector thrives on new ideas, depends on media-savvy millennials and Gen Z-ers to whom social media is as natural as breathing. If you have Instagram and Twitter, if you can send a decent email, if you can identify the next up-and-coming influencer – you’ve already got PR experience.
Of course, this is brilliant for those looking to pursue a career in PR. But is an internship or placement at a PR firm any use to those looking to expand into multiple creative spheres? Will it help a determined young investigative journalist or a talented graphic designer?
In a word – yes. PR is on the front line of innovation. From the marketing of new technology in broadsheets to the handling of an established brand’s social media crisis, PR firms are experts in combining the old and the new. Within a week’s placement, you could call a senior BBC journalist, plan a stunt for a new film release and tweet on behalf of a up-and-coming brand. If your day starts with a email exchange with a national paper, it might end with a meticulously researched excel spreadsheet of fitness influencers.
PR teaches you skills that are invaluable. It teaches you how to conduct in-depth, efficient research into topics you knew nothing about; how to deal with difficult clients and competing visions; how to stay on top of trends without feeling overwhelmed. If you can sell a product, you can sell yourself to future employers. If you can predict trends in consumer goods, you can predict trends in global politics. A PR internship or placement gives you more than something to stick on a CV – it gives you confidence, the ability to work solo or in team, the capacity to pitch and persuade. It provides a way out of that catch 22 – and it might even set you a new career path.
Thanks to all the team at Brazen for having me this week! I’ve learnt so much, laughed so much and had the most fabulously Brazen week.
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