27 October 2014
Bex Bahri, PR Assistant

What your degree doesn't teach you about PR

PR Graduate

Graduation, a day to celebrate your achievement with friends and family and to reflect on all that you have learned. But, whilst a degree is important, it does not give you the valuable industry experience that turns you from ‘grad’ to ‘great’.

Prior to joining Westgate, the only experience I had of PR was at university when I worked for a brief time at a press agency that gave me an insight into the world of PR from a journalist’s point of view.

After graduation, I was eager to explore the PR industry and see what day-to-day life was like. Westgate has given me the opportunity to gain a true understanding of what PR is and at the same time it has allowed me to learn and develop my skills by working on a variety of wonderful clients. So two months into the world of PR, here is what my degree did not teach me about PR:

Time management is key

The tasks given to me as a PR assistant are diverse and vary from client to client, with a deadline often attached. To succeed, you have to be able to manage your time successfully in order to carry out the work required. It’s a fast paced environment, with a constant array of conversations circling the office. Everyone works closely together to ensure that everything is achieved in an efficient manner. I love the exciting atmosphere in the PR office and enjoy the promptness that is required to get things done.

Persistence is important

A polite reminder, via email or telephone, helps to put your client or story out there and at the top of a journalist’s to-do list. I quickly learnt that persisting with journalists does pay off, but I also learnt that knockbacks do regularly occur. It’s OK for a pitch or press release to be rejected, as it might not be right for their readership or publication, but you need to have a thick skin to make sure you don’t take it personally!

You need to be alert and be aware of current trends

Working in PR means you are continuously on the lookout for new opportunities to help raise your client’s profile. I have seen how a news story can impact a client both positively and negatively, which is why it is so important to keep up to date with current affairs and trends. They may inspire you or help you make any necessary preparations, so it’s best to keep your ear to the ground!

We are always on the look out for enthusiastic graduates who want to kick-start their PR career. If you’re looking for an internship or just work experience, then get in touch on 01732 779087 or email info@westgatecomms.com.



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