I imagine many students are currently feeling the way I did around a year and a half ago, with the encroaching sense that it is time to figure out your next step, now studies are ending. In all honesty, when considering potential career paths, I came across PR by chance. I realise now that I’d heard only vague misconceptions of the industry; that it involves lots of events and is mainly about media relations. Over my time in the industry so far, I have found out it’s a lot more than that – it’s fast-paced, creative, and dynamic. At the time, it was a challenge to get familiar with the industry. I am therefore hoping that by talking about what I have learned in my application process, and then being part of the Splendid Futures programme, I can provide some guidance for those looking to break into the sector. 

Deciding where to go 

If PR has piqued your interest, do some research into where would work best for you. First, investigate the differences between agency and In-house roles, understanding their approach and structure. If, like me, you choose the agency route, investigate employers and their clients. Check out agencies’ campaigns and creative output by looking at their website and social channels. For me, the Splendid Futures programme seemed like an amazing opportunity; the range of Splendid clients was exciting, and it felt like an agency role where I could play a part in interesting campaigns and learn a lot.  

Jumping into media  

If there’s anything my PR career so far has taught me, it’s that understanding the media and how it works is crucial. Being aware of what news is happening daily, and what trends are gaining momentum online, is a great starting point. I always had my preferred media titles but my time at Splendid has shown me how useful it is to expand your reading range. I have begun to understand how truly large and diverse the media landscape is. In my work at Splendid, I’ve really developed my understanding of specific interests of journalists and titles, which has been a great skill when selling in stories and campaigns. 

Looking at your favourite brands 

Another way to dive into PR is by looking through the lens of your favourite brands. I found this useful for understanding the many forms PR can take, as well as getting into the minds of those behind the campaigns. In my application process at Splendid, I discussed some of my favourite campaigns. One I highlighted was Channel 4’s ‘Complaints Welcome’ campaign; I loved its uniqueness and powerful message, and so, throughout the process, I shared my views on what I thought made it work so well, and why I liked it so much. 

Prepping for interviews  

Although background research is helpful, just as importantly, you want to show off yourself and your skills in the interview. Explaining how earlier experience is transferable shows interviewers how you could slot in perfectly into a PR role in their company. Ahead of my interview, I delved into the job description and prepared reasons why I could fulfil the duties expected from an intern at Splendid. This helped me feel prepared and confident in my interview. Since working at Splendid, it has been obvious that passion for the industry is always appreciated so I’d recommend continuing to develop your own take on popular PR campaigns and bring these ideas into your interview.  

Making the most of it  

And if you have made it into that role, congrats! Now it is time to get stuck in. Take on each task as they come, and you’ll soon be finding where you best succeed in the role. The lingo of the industry can take some getting used to but once you’ve got the hang of it, there’s no stopping you. 

Find out more about the Splendid Futures programme or career opportunities at Splendid here.