Heading back to the classroom
Our Account Manager, Rebecca Hart was recently invited back to Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), eight years after graduating, to share her experiences of the world of PR and to give students a real life insight into roles within a PR agency at the annual Pathways event.
Pathways brings together professionals, lecturers and past and present students to discuss current trends and employment opportunities in public relations and related industries. During the daylong event, individuals and business representatives took part in a series of industry talks, Q&A sessions and a careers fair.
Offering advice to students and recent graduates on how to get ahead in PR, Rebecca delivered a 45 minute talk alongside Steve Miller, Membership and Partnerships Director at the PRCA.
She comments: “It’s always great to be invited back to my old university and to be able to offer help and advice to students seeking roles in the industry. The event it a fantastic opportunity to meet with students and graduates and help the next generation of professionals to get their first step up on the career ladder.”
Covering a number of points, Rebecca discussed how she managed to get her first role in public relations, through to her current role at Dragonfly PR, including discussing the wide variety of clients the agency services in the manufacturing, construction and food sectors.
Rebecca gave some tips on how to secure a job in public relations. These include:
- Gaining work experience
- Networking to make the most of your opportunities and build a list of contacts
- Being brave and willing try few different options to help determine which path is right for you
- Broadening your skillset and keeping up to date with changes in the industry
- Being Patient, the ‘five year plan’ doesn’t always work out
- Look for opportunities both on and offline
- How social media can be very valuable when job hunting, but to make sure your profile is professional or keep it private
- Research the company you are applying for
- Finally, pass your driving test to widen your search to outside of city centres and away from main bus routes.
Rebecca adds: “PR isn’t an easy sector to get into, but it’s drive and determination that counts. This event provided the chance to pass on some tips on how to prepare for work after university. It’s very easy to think that having the ability to write a good news story automatically means you can succeed in public relations, but that simply isn’t the case. Having work experience or placements in a number of different PR or media environments can really make a difference, as can keeping ahead of trends in social media and writing your own blog, for example.”
“I was pleasantly surprised to see that a lot were taking note during the presentation and I had a number of audience members approach me at the end to thank me for being so honest and providing some invaluable information.”
Dragonfly PR is a Sheffield based agency with more than 15 years’ experience in planning and implementing succesful PR, social media and SEO campaigns. We are a friendly bunch of Public Relations and digital marketing experts who specialise in business to business PR for companies based in Yorkshire, East Midlands and the North West, with expertise in construction, engineering and industrial and FMCG manufacturing.
This year we will again be offering short term work placements for any under graduates looking for valuable experience in the worlds of PR and digital marketing. This will involve:
- Opportunity to create media lists from a database
- Chance to write press releases for a couple of our business to business clients
- Try your hand at writing social media posts for businesses
- Learn more about SEO and content marketing
For more information call 0114 349 5345 or to apply, send your CV and a letter explaining why you would make a great work experience candidate to firstname.lastname@example.org.