23 May 2014
Jade Page, Account Manager

What do PR graduates need to succeed?


We’re coming to that time of year again, when the next batch of graduates are preparing to enter into the big wide world and looking for their first job. We all know what skills and qualities are needed when working in the PR industry – good communication and organisation anyone? But, is that all that counts? In an industry that is so fast moving, how important are personal characteristics? Sometimes, it’s not all about what you know, it’s about you too!

Here are the top five characteristics that we think are perfectly suited to a career in PR. Sound like you? Then get in touch!

• Initiative – nothing impresses your senior colleagues, or indeed clients, more than using your initiative, whether that’s preparing for a forthcoming meeting before being asked or exploring an editorial profile opportunity you’ve spotted to see if it might be suitable for your client.

• Common sense – sometimes if something doesn’t make sense it’s for a reason! As a PR, you should not be afraid to question information that you don’t understand or query a campaign that you don’t think will work.

• Good under pressure – what happens when you have all the top national news journalists ringing you about a news story, but your client hasn’t signed off the statement yet? In this situation, you need to be able to keep calm and have the confidence to ensure a journalist does not get information from you ‘off the record’.

• Reliability – your client needs to be able to know that, when they ring you at 17.29, you will be there to take their call and be happy to help. One of the greatest reassurances of having a PR agency is that your client has a team of people ready and willing to support, no matter what time of day or night it is!

• Conscientiousness – those who have a desire to do a task well, with great attention to detail, are really well suited to working in the PR industry. A great example of this would be thoroughly proofing copy, which can be a client’s bug bear if not done correctly.

A characteristic that is not well suited to the industry is pessimism – in PR it’s crucial to look on the bright side! If a campaign doesn’t quite go to plan, don’t dwell on the negatives, turn it around and think about different angles you can explore to still achieve a positive outcome.

The best way to decide if a career in PR is for you is to gain work experience. If you’d be interested in speaking to us, do get in touch on 01732 779087 or email info@westgatecomms.com.


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