How to get a job in PR and comms

How can you get a job in the PR and corporate communication industry? Is it about what you know, who you know, or a combination of both? What happens when things go wrong?

Sarah Stimson You’re in the right place to find out. I had the pleasure of being sent a review copy of a brand new book How to get a job in PR by Sarah Stimson @GoooRooo (pictured).

If you are looking to find your first job in this exciting profession, make this book your first step in securing the career you’d like. It’s a good read for any stage of your career, but I think it’s particularly poignant if you’re just starting out.

It is full of guidance and tips from 80 PR industry insiders to help you make wise choices and set you on the right path.

Sarah says: “A career in the PR and corporate communications industry is an increasingly desirable choice for many, and competition for every job is fierce. If the sector appeals to you, then you need to stay one step ahead of your peers. How are you going to get that all-important foot in the door? Will you find it easier to find a job if you have a degree in PR? What practical skills will you need to progress? – the book is a guide to finding and keeping the job you want and it answers these questions and much, much more.”

What’s in the book?
A thorough overview of different PR sectors and disciplines, step-by-step guide to creating an effective PR CV, helpful job application tips, indispensable advice on how best to represent yourself in an interview, top advice from leading industry figures plus a recommended reading list and directory of useful contacts.

My impressions
How to get a job in PRReading through the book, I was struck by some of the honesty of some of the chapters – this isn’t a glossy image of working in PR and Communications, it’s the reality of long, often unsociable hours, but rewarding work. That alone makes it stand out as a recommended read.

Chapters include: What do PR people do? Agency vs in-house, The importance of cultural fit, Making your CV more effective, Job application tips, Do I need a PR degree? Working from home, How to go freelance, plus 25 don’ts.

What not to do
In chapter 27 (25 don’ts) it looks at “how to avoid winding up your colleagues” by encouraging readers to discover their irritating habits.

Some of the 25 include:

  1. Don’t miss a deadline
  2. Don’t blame others for your mistakes
  3. If you’ve set a deadline for a piece of work, don’t ask for it repeatedly before the deadline. What’s the point of a deadline if you’re going to nag for it earlier anyway?
  4. Don’t send unnecessary emails. Pick up the phone, or talk face-to-face, once in a while.

One chapter focuses on “How to resign” and includes gems such as: “When resigning… Be graceful, however difficult the circumstances. PR is a very small industry and you will cross paths again!”

I really enjoyed the book, well done Sarah for such a readable, thoughtful and well-timed publication.

What do other people think?

There has never been a more exciting time to work in public relations. How to get a job in PR is a must read guide to finding your first job. Sarah has helped countless people start out and develop their careers and now wants to help you” says Stephen Waddington, @wadds, European Digital & Social Media Director at Ketchum & CIPR President 2014.

PR is on the up. While other industries shrank during the recession, PR grew, and grew strongly. Competition for that entry-level job is accordingly fierce -so if you want to break into PR, immerse yourself in this book. It’s an investment you’ll never regret” says Francis Ingham, Director General, PRCA.

You can get a glimpse of what you can expect via this video:

Where to get the book
How to get a job in PR is available in print via Amazon and also via Kindle.

Internal communication career advice
I’m regularly asked for career advice about internal communication. You can read my advice here as part of the Institute of Internal Communication series of “The most important thing I’ve learned about internal communication” series.

I also published an article if you’re starting out in internal communication, featuring Mairi McInnes @IC_trends. It looks at what IC pros say they do, expectations and Mairi’s story. You can read it here.

Internal comms jobs
Eagle-eyed readers of my blog may have spotted that there’s now a brand new section on this site.

Following feedback from readers last year, new for 2014 is a jobs board. If you are a recruiter or have a vacancy to fill and would like to advertise it here, do please get in touch.

Coming up this week will be three guest articles looking at the history of internal communication, communicating company principles and using broadcasting techniques for IC.


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