Rebecca tells students how to get ahead in PR

Last week, Dragonfly PR Senior Account Executive, Rebecca Hart was invited back to the university where she studied to offer advice to final year students on how to secure a job after graduating.

Here she shares some of the tips that she gave to them, seven years down the line since graduating...

 “I graduated university in 2011 with a 2:1 in journalism, so it’s been quite a while since I’ve been back or caught up with all of my old tutors. The Grad Talk provided a great opportunity for me to return to Sheffield Hallam, where I’d spent three happy years learning everything from drafting press releases to shorthand and even finding my way around a radio studio.

The aim of the event is for members of the Journalism, Media and PR alumni to give advice to a group of soon to be graduates and other students on how to get their first step on the media industry career ladder.

Here’s just few of the tips that I had to share:

Be proactive and gain some work experience

One of the most important things that you can have on your CV when finishing university is at least a couple of examples of work experience. This will not only provide you with a portfolio of work to showcase to prospective employers (so be sure to save examples of any media cuttings you have), but it will also provide experience of working with real life businesses. From a PR perspective, it also shows that you are proactive and willing to work hard to get where you want to be.

Be brave and bold

Sometimes you may not have the required experience that an agency is looking for, but if you know they’re hiring be brave, pick up the phone and speak to them direct. You never know, if you make a good impression they may consider going for an entry level candidate with a ‘can do’ attitude and a willingness to learn after all. Your keenness and enthusiasm may just pay off!

Broaden your skillset and stay up to date

The PR, media and journalism industry is always changing. From new apps to new legislation, it will pay to keep on top of what is going on in the sector and learn about these new developments.

Learn to drive!

Having a driving licence is also a valuable asset as it means your employer won’t have to worry about whether you can get to work on time and will be able to send you out to meet clients, suppliers or to attend events.

Be patient, but continue writing

Not everyone will land their desired role straight out of university, it took me two years, however that doesn’t mean I didn’t continue writing and try to stay in the loop. You have to be patient, but you also have to keep a hand in the industry.

There has been numerous times when we have come across CV’s where the candidate has a great set of skills and qualifications, but has left a huge gap in their relevant experience. I’m not saying don’t work in another industry, but be sure that if you do, you continue to keep up doing something relevant to PR and keep your CV up to date. This could even be writing your own blog or volunteering to run the social media for a community group, it all counts as experience!"

Dragonfly PR currently has a vacancy for an experienced Public Relations professional, however, we would also consider applications from high calibre graduates who are looking to make a name for themselves in PR, if you can prove that you have the right skills, attitude and some experience.

So, if  you are a graduate or PR professional seeking an exciting and fulfilling new career, then please do get in touch by emailing your CV and details to hello@dragonflypr.co.uk or calling 01709 300130 for an informal discussion.

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