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Are you wondering how to get a job in PR? Or are you a career changer looking to transition into PR?
The number of new jobs in the PR industry is expected to grow by 7% in the U.S. alone from 2021 - 2029 according to research from 99firms, meaning thousands of new PR jobs will open up in the coming years.
Below, we detail the key steps you can take to land your dream PR job.
Develop your PR skill set
65% of PR professionals noted the ability to analyse Big Data will be the most important skill in public relations according to USC Annenberg School, meaning the ability to quantify and measure results from your PR activities.
PR professionals use off the shelf marketing tools and spreadsheets to update, monitor and track their brands' news coverage.
Job seekers can develop their PR analytical skills via free tutorials on YouTube detailing Excel, Google Sheets and how-to’s on media monitoring tools such as Meltwater.
Network with PR professionals
PR managers need to build relationships before pitching news articles with the press. 54% of PR professionals always or frequently follow journalists on social media before pitching to them according to Muck Rack PR research.
Research the top media publications in your market and use LinkedIn and Google to find the editors-in-chief and journalists. Add journalists and editors on LinkedIn, follow their feeds on Twitter, join their groups and attend their upcoming events.
This will help grow your PR network, improve your understanding of the PR landscape and increase your likelihood of publication.
Read relevant news publications
Read, watch and listen to the news - your job in PR is to stay up-to-date to keep abreast of the latest customer developments, trends, news stories, hot topics and insights to act and react quickly to protect your brand and proactively shape discussions.
Job seekers can set up Google Alerts covering the brand they wish to work for, industry news, competitor news as well as local and international updates.
Pick a PR niche
Specialist PR roles are in increasing demand amongst employers searching for experts in strategic communications, marketing communications and crisis communications.
Job seekers need to research the different niches, understand which ones are of interest, attend PR webinars, connect with specialised professionals to get a foot in the door for entry level positions and roles for junior account executives.
Update your social media profiles
67% of employers use social media sites to research candidate suitability according to Harris research and 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find candidates based on their profile keywords and activity according to Kinsta.
Job seekers should update their LinkedIn profile with PR keywords and hashtags. Users can also share their own published articles and reshare relevant PR content. On other social platforms including Facebook and Instagram, remove any unflattering posts.
Research your future employer
Landing a job involves understanding your employer's tone of voice, topics of current interest, who the main spokesperson is, which PR agency they work with and which publications they value.
Job seekers should read the firm's press releases on their website as well as external media coverage in news publications, social media and using Google Alerts.
This will be a big advantage in the interview process as it demonstrates the candidate has taken an active interest in the company and speaks the same language as the interviewer.
Use LinkedIn to find PR jobs
LinkedIn is the #1 job searching tool to help candidates find their dream job.
Candidates can set up LinkedIn job alerts for new PR roles and monitor their LinkedIn news feeds to see PR job posts and recommendations from their network.
To help stand out from the hundreds of applicants and to make your name memorable, candidates should also message the hiring manager and/or recruiter for the role.
Create a tailored PR resumé
Job seekers should be aware that most employers still rely on resumés for job applications. Candidates with generic resumés which are not tailored to the PR job spec they are applying will likely fail the keyword matching software recruiters use and are unlikely to be called for interviews.
Candidates can find public relations CV templates online and should insert tailored keywords based on the job description throughout, per their work experience. A cover letter may be required but is not essential.
Need some help?
Feel free to message me on LinkedIn to learn more about building your network and improving your PR and communications skills.
Kat Hicker is an ex-Google and Uber PR expert with over 10 years experience, now leading PR consultancy Castleforbes Communications.