What is it like to work in PR and Communications?

19 January 2022 | 5 min read | News
Steph Brown
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PR and Communications was never a sector I thought I would end up in. I had my sights set on becoming a teacher, or perhaps a journalist. Of course, there was always that small semblance of optimism in me that I would win the lottery and end up living a life of luxury in the Maldives. However, fate would have it that I found my calling in PR and Communications.   

What some describe as ‘the dark side’, PR is mistakenly thought to be the evil twin of journalism. I’d like to think that, actually, the two industries work beautifully in tandem, both with the same goal of getting the most important voices and messages heard by the right people, at the right time. There are many other misrepresentations of the PR industry; perhaps you’ve heard that we’re all spin doctors who will polish a turd to an inch of its life to land a story? Or my personal favourite, that we all just drink wine from 12pm onwards and enjoy schmoozing instead of getting our heads down into the nitty gritty.  

While the sector has been represented in the media, predominantly by Sex and the City, as the most glamorous career known to man – in reality it’s very different. I would argue, for the better.  

It’s fast-paced 

Whether working in-house or for an agency, the life of a Public Relations specialist is never slow. If you’re someone who thrives from the challenge of spinning multiple plates, maintaining and nurturing numerous professional relationships, and working to strict deadlines, PR is the sector for you. The sector certainly keeps you on your toes.  

It’s incredibly rewarding 

The PR buzz is certainly real – no matter how far along in your career you are. Whether it’s landing amazing media coverage, generating incredible social media results, or creating an award-winning campaign, the feeling of pride as you tell your clients about the fruits of your labour never dissipates.  

It’s wonderfully creative 

The sky is the limit to your imagination and creativity in PR and Communications. There’s no idea too big when it comes to creating show-stopping work for your clients, and that freedom to be innovative is truly liberating. And contrary to popular belief, even when you work with clients in the B2B world, inspiration and flair doesn’t have to take a back seat. Indeed, I would argue that the ability to think outside of the box is one of the key traits any PR specialist should hold.  

It’s an industry that’s always evolving 

PR and Communications changes almost every day. It’s an industry that works hard to keep up with the times, understand and implement the trends to garner great results and one which requires an avid interest in learning. Whether it’s a webinar on the new world of NFTs or a conference on how the media looks to engage with audiences over the next six months, a curious mind is vital to succeed.  

It’s a social career 

The key foundation of what any PR and Communications sector does on a day-to-day basis is built on strong professional relationships. Whether it’s building great rapport internally with your team, having regular phone calls with clients in a personable manner, or frequent emails and calls with journalists to discuss upcoming news and events – the industry is social and relies on a stable community to function seamlessly.  

Okay, it’s also glamourous sometimes too… 

From awards ceremonies to impressive galas, drinks with clients, lunches with journalists and fantastic staff parties – the PR and Communications sector certainly has its glitzy moments.  

Similarly to myself, very few people begin their career journeys expecting to land in PR, it’s usually something that people fall into by pure accident or grow into from work experiences or placements. It’s a sector which employs an amazing spectrum of people, all of whom hold a range of interest and abilities.  

Take Clearly as an example – our team hold qualifications in English, Publishing, Politics and International Relations, Journalism, Hospitality and Management, Languages and more.  But, perhaps the best part of working in PR, is that it doesn’t require new entrants to hold a degree. It’s an open and inclusive industry which focuses so much more on attitude and aptitude than numbers or letters. It’s about who you are as a person, rather than the letters after your name, that counts.  

But no matter what path you may be on, or have been on, Public Relations and Communications will always be a sector which favours the curious, the creative, the social, the innovative and the organised. And, of course, the glamorous.