I read a brilliant article on PR Week today explaining how important it is for PR’s to make sure they get that crucial ‘PR pitch’ right.
It is important not to pass the pitching role over to your interns because you think you don’t have time, as in a PR role this is one of the most crucial parts. Journalists are looking for good stories, so make sure you take the time to look into their needs, the publication purpose and audience, read the journalists past features and fit a story together for them. It is important that your clients stories and news fits the publications you are pitching to – be selective, there is nothing worse than trying to sell a story in at mass. Also, make sure that your story is timely, fits with current news or developments and is of relevance to the publications readers. A great tool is to help assist with this is Gorkana or the free website called Journalisted.com.
PR Executives, I recommend reading this feature on PR Week which includes good advice from both PR’s and Journalists.
My experience of studying at Leeds Met and how it helped me in the scary place of ‘full-time work’!
One of the biggest advantages of the PR course at Leeds Met was the practical elements. We were encourage to gain placements and work on live projects with real clients in order to build up our portfolio and experience. To me this was the best part of the course, as it allowed you to put all the work you learnt at university into practice – alongside giving you vital skills to equip you for interviews and employment.
I think it is important to use these elements of the course to expand CV experience! I have put forward a few tips below:
Tips for enhancing your CV whilst at University:
- Make sure you have a selection of work placement positions on your CV – paid or unpaid, these will show you are willing to reach out and do extra work. You will find that placements will also help you with your university work, alongside giving you vital work-related skills.
- Network! Attend events at university and any other CIPR related events. These are great places to meet people you wouldn’t normally be able to talk to – PR professionals, directors of companies etc. These events were great for me, as they helped with university work and dissertation contacts, but also with gaining contacts for future employment options.
- Extra activities – Do something extra, something above and beyond which gives your CV that little extra. It can be sports related, a personal hobby in which you compete with, or a volunteer programme. I tried to pack as much as I coud into my second year summer and whilst working temporarily to gain a bit of money, I travelled to Thailand on two different volunteer projects. The first was volunteering on IIFA (Indian International Film Awards) which were held in Bangkok. I was selected to work backstage on the live event, helping out on the communications controls – the event was televised to millions of people. The second trip was a month-long volunteering project to Kaho Lak in Thailand. This was one of the worst hit areas of Thailand from the Tsunami, so I volunteered to teach at deprived schools in the local area. Experiences such as these help to shape your personality and to give you something inspiring to talk about to future employers.
- Building on your confidence – In doing the above, your confidence should grow dramatically enabling you to act more professional in interviews and in the work place.
The work place is a seriously competitive environment at the moment so the more you can do to enhance your CV alongside your university grades the better you will find your job prospects and the transition into work.
If anyone has any more tips or advice, please do let me know or post below! Thanks.
From being on my work placement this year, I believe I hit lucky with getting a position before the industry tightened its financial belt. I can see from other blogs and by speaking to other students that many placement opportunities have been snapped away from second year students who are currently searching. My placement company are stopping any more permanent staff employment never mind student positions.
It is proven that it will be hard, and therefore there will most likely be even more students in the final year of PR… resuting in a higher number of graduates fighting for the same limited number of PR jobs this time next year.
I think that looking for jobs or placement positions in the public sector may be slightly easier than private, but it is a stuggling area! Is been a student PR student going to be a nightmare?…