- Digital and social media are fundamental elements of PR work. Multi task and demonstrate your ability to work competently on multimedia platforms. Connect with appropriate contacts through LinkedIn. Be as pro-active as possible, but always be polite and courteous.
- Video is now a key part of PR. Teach yourself how to shoot and edit basic videos using tools such as YouTube video editor.Be an expert in time management so you can seize opportunities to learn and share skills. Attention to detail is vital, accuracy is essential.
- Be flexible. Recent graduates working in the industry advise "Never say no. If you do not know how to do what you are asked to do, be prepared to find out and do it". Be prepared to try anything, learn as much as possible on the job.
- Relevant work experience will help you. You need to be able to understand and adapt to the needs of different audiences and organisations. Be aware of appropriate styles and cultures and how to use them. Try to vary your work experience so that you can demonstrate you have this ability.
- A key skill in PR is managing expectations. Learn to anticipate potential problems and identify solutions and be prepared to give specific examples of how you have achieved this.
Further study is not essential for entry into PR jobs. However it can enable you to develop specialist knowledge and help you move into the PR world if you have no previous experience. Courses are available at universities and through professional organisations. When choosing a course, it is useful to consider whether it has professional recognition and worth remembering that Sheffield Hallam run an MA in Public Relations which is professionally recognised by CIPR.
Self-employment and freelancing usually happen after gaining experience and building up contacts. If you are interested in self-employment, excellent support is available from the Enterprise Team at Sheffield Hallam University. You can have free professional advice on a range of topics for up to five years after graduation.