Guest Blog – The Ultimate Guide to Landing a Job in PR

This guest blog comes from PR Fire a Press Release Distribution and Content Marketing Agency. Written by Director & Founder, Sam Allcock, he shares the knowledge he’s gained from 15 years in the industry. 

Are you thinking about getting a job in public relations?

Landing your first job can feel scary – especially if you’re doing a complete career change, or starting with no experience.

But it is possible; you can land a job in PR without tons of experience.

In fact, you’ve likely already got skills that can serve you in your first PR job. And, it’s easy to get some basic experience to prepare you for that first role.

In this guide, we’ll talk about:

Ready? Let’s get to it.

What is a job in public relations like?

Before we dive in, let’s start by taking a look at a day in the life of a PR professional.

It’s a PR person’s job to take care of a brand’s image. It’s their responsibility to get coverage in media such as newspapers or online publications, and think of new and exciting ideas to help them raise awareness for the brand.

(PR agencies are the same, except you might be doing that for a range of different businesses.)

Somebody working in PR typically works on jobs like:

  • Brainstorming new ideas
  • Creating surveys and collecting data
  • Writing press releases
  • Pitching those press releases to journalists (either by email or over the phone)
  • Forming ongoing relationships with journalists
  • Monitoring newspapers, social media, and print for media coverage
  • Finding unlinked brand mentions
  • Reporting on links and coverage (and delivering that to clients, if necessary)

The different types of PR jobs

Everybody on your PR team cobbles together to get those tasks done. But, the exact tasks each individual person does depends on their role.

Typically, there are four types of jobs when it comes to PR:

  1. PR Assistant: This is the entry-level job for someone just getting into the world of PR. They’ll be helping other executives on their team with smaller tasks—such as brainstorming new ideas, or pulling coverage.
  2. PR Junior Executive: A person at this level has a solid understanding of how PR works, but not much experience. Their tasks include finding brand mentions, and asking for those to be turned into links. They might also draft press releases for their PR Executive to review.
  3. PR Executive: At this stage, you’ll be able to do most of the PR tasks we talked about—such as writing press releases and forming relationships with journalists. You might also be involved with training your lower-level PR team.
  4. PR Manager or Director: This person is responsible for a brand’s entire PR strategy. It’s their job to approve campaigns, plan timelines, and report on success. They’re often the client-facing PR person if you’re working in an agency.

What skills do I need to get a job in PR?

There’s no doubt that working in PR means you’ll need to have a specific set of skills.

However, there is some good news: you probably already have those skills. You can pick them up through other non-PR-related jobs or side projects.

For example: an essential skill you’ll need for a successful PR career is communication. In your daily job, you’ll be talking on the phone with journalists, working with your team, and sometimes communicating with clients.

Poor communication can sabotage all of those tasks, and put your PR campaign on the back burner. Yet you might’ve already picked up and developed that skill from a previous job.

Somebody working in PR needs to be able to communicate not just face-to-face, but in written form, too.

You’ll be writing lots of content in your PR job, including emails, press releases, and coverage reports. Poor writing skills might mean you suffer with landing coverage, in the first place. After all, how can you land coverage for a press release that’s badly written?

The final important skill for a successful PR career is creativity. A huge part of your job is finding ways to secure coverage; you don’t always land that by taking the most obvious strategy.

For example: what happens when your great idea doesn’t perform as well as you’d expected? Or your press release gets overpowered by a breaking news story? Or your client pushes back on an idea you’re confident about?

Creativity will see you through all of those incidents.

Do PR qualifications matter?

Some universities offer degrees in public relations. They teach you the basics (like writing a press release and getting coverage), but also promise to dive deeper into psychology and brainstorm PR campaigns that are more likely to work, scientifically.

However, research shows that just 17% of PR practitioners have degrees in either PR or communications.

That’s because of the important skills we just talked about.

You can work on your writing, communication, and creativity skills with other jobs. They’re three versatile skills that you can develop from any job—hence why over half (57%) of people currently working in PR have degrees in a completely different subject.

The bottom line is that official PR qualifications don’t matter.

What’s more important is whether you’ve got the skills needed to be a successful PR executive—and the experience to back it up.

How to land your first PR job: 5 simple steps

Ready to get your first PR job?

Even if you’ve got no experience (and aren’t really sure where to start), here are five simple steps to help you land your first job in public relations.

1. Get some PR experience

Earlier, we mentioned that most PR professionals don’t actually have a qualification in public relations. So, how did they land their job?

The answer: through experience.

Experience is everything when it comes to PR. The people hiring for their PR team want to know that the person has some idea of what they’re doing—it’ll give them some confidence knowing they’re hiring someone with the basics.

But here’s where the good news really comes in: you can land your first PR job without any professional experience. You can take your experience into your own hands, and start to build your knowledge without an official PR job.

For example, you can:

  • Practice writing press releases and save them as samples to show the company you’re applying to work for (even if it’s for a fictional brand)
  • Play with popular PR tools and start learning how they work—especially those with a free or personal plan
  • Try getting press coverage for yourself using tactics like guest posting for sites like Huffington Post
  • Volunteer for charities or nonprofits and help them with their own PR
  • Read PR and marketing publications like PRWeek, Campaign Live, and PR Moment to see real-life examples, and stay updated with best practices

2. Start building relationships

Once you’ve got some PR experience, you should start to focus on building relationships.

This includes relationships with journalists—the people who’ll give your business coverage on their newspaper or website.

The easiest way to do this is to start following journalists on social media. Look at the publications you’d love to get coverage on (such as The Mirror or The Lad Bible), then search LinkedIn to find journalists who work there. Start engaging with their posts.

That way, you start to build recognition with them—which could help secure coverage when you start pitching press releases to them.

But you should also start to build relationships with other people, too.

The saying “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” really comes into full force when you’re working in public relations.

Why? Because you can get coverage (and help with PR ideas) from your network.

Let’s say you’re writing a press release for a client, for example. You can use your network to get quotes from other people—potentially boosting the chances of getting coverage because your content seems less biased.

(The same applies in reverse: you can contribute quotes to other people’s press releases and get coverage or links off the back of it.)

Strong relationships are the best-kept secret in PR. Remember that before you start applying for your first PR job; it’s a huge advantage to have a black book of contacts when trying to beat other people for the same job.

3. Browse PR job boards

You’ve got experience to back-up your skills. Next, you’ll need to search for a place to work (if you don’t already have one in mind, that is.)

You can find PR jobs by searching media job boards. Often run by the publications PR professionals read, it’s a great way to sift through job postings and see which companies are hiring.

Here are some popular PR job board options to help you get started:

Once you find one you like, shoot your CV and cover letter, making sure each plays to the skills and experience a hiring manager would want to see.

4. Research the company you’re applying to work for

Managed to land an interview for a PR job you recently applied for? Awesome!

Next, you’ll need to do some research on the company itself. This will help you during the interview process—and make sure you’re not caught off guard by any questions. (It’ll help you show off, too, because you’ll be able to talk about them.)

The simplest way to do this is by figuring out where they get coverage, and which type of content they use to do so.

Head over to Google and search their brand name in quotation marks.

Then, select the “News” tab. This shows all the pieces of coverage they’ve secured which contains their brand name:

Applying to work at a PR agency? You should also look at their clients, and scan the agency’s website for tips that might help you during the interview.

This includes answers to questions like:

  • What type of clients do they work with? (B2B, B2C, or a specific industry?)
  • Where do their clients usually get coverage?
  • Do they list their process on their website?
  • What results have they got for clients? How? (Check their case studies for this)

Knowing this before your interview means helps you prove you actually know what you’re talking about—even if you don’t have any PR experience.

Plus, you can prepare a list of questions to ask at the end of the job interview based on things you couldn’t find during your research.

5. Prepare for your PR job interview

Got an invite to interview? Great job—but you’re not finished yet.

You might have 8 other people interviewing for the same PR executive role. You’ll need to spend some time practising the common questions your interviewer might ask, including:

  1. Why do you want to work in PR? Show the interviewer that you’re able to communicate by giving them a handful of clear and concise reasons why you’d love to work in PR. These might be: you’re always reading newspapers and notice how bad coverage tends to be, or you’ve spent your childhood learning how to use social media, and now you want to apply that to a brand’s profile.
  2. How would you handle a social brand crisis? PR isn’t just about getting new coverage; you’ll also likely be handling brand crises when things go wrong. Think about how you’d handle this—you might get asked during the interview.
  3. What do you like about our business/PR agency? Prove you’ve done your research! Feedback to them about their process, coverage, or clients. For example: “I want to work for your PR agency because ABC is one of your clients, and your recent campaign got XYZ results on this publication—which I read every day.”
  4. Which PR tools do you know of? Again, your research sets you up for a perfect answer. You should’ve played around with certain PR tools (or at least have a vague idea of what they do) before your interview.
  5. What’s your favourite type of PR campaign? Spend some time learning about the different types of PR campaigns—such as news-related releases, content using original survey data, or newsjacking. Pick a favourite.

Use these tips to land your first PR job

As you can see, landing your first job in PR doesn’t have to be daunting.

You can pull skills from other areas, and create your own experience, to help you get your first professional role. Just make sure to rely on your connections, research the company you’re applying to work for, and prepare for your interview.

There’s no reason why you can’t land your dream public relations job.

Read the original article here 

Sam Allcock
Written by Sam Allcock
Director & Founder of @prfire Press Release Distribution and Content Marketing Agency. As seen in @hubspot @marketingprofs @prweek and @smbizceo

Returning to Education

If your time spent in Covid-19 lockdown has been a time of reflection and left you thinking about a return to study our Graduate Advocate, Fiona Hough, a former mature student has some great advice…

Returning to Education

Thinking about returning to education as a mature learner can be a very scary prospect, with many prospective students put off. The ideas of organising student finance, not studying in an academic setting for a while and concern at “being the oldest” in class can be off putting for some. 

So why do it? 

Mature learners have several reasons for returning to education. These reasons can include wanting to change careers to something completely different (such as taking a postgraduate course in teaching, or taking an undergraduate course to become a social worker), wanting better prospects in a current career and a degree would therefore be beneficial, and sometimes, just wanting to learn a subject that’s always been of interest!

As well as those reasons for returning to do either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, on average people with degrees earn more over their lifetimes than those without, so this is another benefit to returning to study. 

It’s not just study

University also offers societies to join and many will have a Mature Students society to join where you can meet and chat. But there’s so many more to join than just that one. From Harry Potter Societies and David Attenborough Appreciation societies to traditional style societies such as sports, debate and film to more intriguing ones such as the 30 Minute Society (where you are simply sent a post code and have 30 minutes to get there and the activity there is free). There are societies that cover almost every interest, and if there isn’t one for your interest you can always create it!

Money money money….

Finance is always a concern for students of all ages, but for mature students, it’s generally the biggest concern and a huge barrier to returning to education, so this blog will concentrate on this barrier. 

For first time undergraduates, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to pay tuition fees up front. The majority of first time undergraduates will be eligible for the Tuition Fee loan from the Government and you don’t start repaying the loan until you’re employed and earning over £26,575.

You may also be eligible for a Maintenance Loan which is based if your personal circumstances, and depending on those personal living circumstances, may reduce the need to work whilst studying. However for some people stopping working is either not possible or they don’t want to stop working whilst studying. 

If you fall into this category, there’s plenty of other options. If you’re already working, you can ask to reduce your hours and study part-time to fit around that, maintaining an income whilst studying. You can also look at jobs that fit around your course hours. Supermarkets and bars are great for looking at part time hours. Jobs on the university campus are really great for this. There will be a range of roles and hours on the university campus, from student ambassadors to library assistants to catering assistants to sports centre staff. There’s pretty much a part time job for everyone. The best part about working for the university you attend is the understanding when you have an assignment or dissertation to complete and the dreaded deadlines are creeping up. Being employed by the university itself generally gives more leeway if you need to reduce your hours to spend more time completing assignments. 

Other places to look for financial help….

As well as working and Student Finance England, there can be other places to look for financial help. The internet is great for searching for charities that offer assistance for students from all circumstances. Charities such as The Princes Trust also offer a list of resources to use to apply for assistance when studying in Higher Education. 

Last advice

My last advice is this, if you want to do it, go for it. Returning to education after a period of time away can be daunting and scary to start with, but once you’re at graduation holding your degree certificate, it’s all worth it!

Making the Most of the summer and Keeping busy

It’s not that time of year again

The academic year is normally a predictable cycle of, starting in October, Christmas, Easter, Summer, repeat until graduation. This time round its different. I choose the word different because of Covid-19 means that we have to behave differently: socially isolating wherever practical. Consequently, this will have largely changed all of our plans for at least the summer.

Difference and change by their nature do not mean stop, shut-down or impossible, they mean adaption, improvisation and proactivity.

Making it count

Consequently, this blog is all about getting around the challenges Covid-19 has put in front of us while still improving your career portfolio by sourcing experience opportunities that:

  1. Can enhance your career prospects
  2. Do something truly meaningful

Ways to keep busy

  • Learning and development

Research Project: data-inputting, transcribing documents, mapping, monitoring wildlife videos, for projects across a range of disciplines.

Future Learn offers free short online courses on a range of topics delivered by universities around the world.

InsideSherpa offer free programmes for students to participate in hypothetical job simulations, completing tasks and accessing learning resources. They have worked with a number of companies such as JPMorgan Chase, Citi, KPMG, Deloitte and Linklatters. When signing up to their programmes please be mindful of their Data Collection Statement.

Free courses with the Open University

  • Work experience

Covid Mutual Aid is helping to co-ordinate community help and support activities. provides a wide range of volunteering opportunities and provides a search engine to help find activities based on your career passions and helping interests.

Other virtual work experience providers

Accenture                        Baker McKenzie                 Citi                                    ClickDo

Deloitte                           EY                                           JP Morgan                       KPMG

Latham& Watkins          Pinsent Masons                  White & Case

  • Jobs

See Job Searching 101 blog post

Tips and updates

Prospects 7 ways to improve your graduate employment in lockdown

  1. Pick up a hobby
  2. Take an online short course
  3. Start reading
  4. Improve your online presence
  5. Sign-up as a volunteer
  6. Learn a language
  7. Craft a perfect CV

Next Step Support is a career resource dedicated to helping students and graduates from university careers services and graduate recruiters.

The New World Order: jobs for a post-pandemic future

GOV.UK: working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19)

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.


NQT Support During COVID-19

If you’re graduating from a QTS course or PGCE this year there’s still plenty of support from teaching agencies for your NQT year.

Remember, the Careers team are still here for students and graduates so if you feel unsure about your career, you can always get in touch with us for a chat. Email and we’ll be able to help.



With offices across England and Wales, and teams specialising in permanent recruitment and long term and emergency supply cover, CER is the go-to education recruitment company.

From early years to further education, SEN to leaders in education, our experienced teams specialise in making sure every school, academy, college, nursery or free school has the temporary and permanent staff it needs to give their students the education they deserve.

Current roles with CER


EduStaff is a specialist education recruitment consultancy providing only long-term and permanent teaching roles in primary, secondary and SEN schools in the UK. We believe in the importance of long-term relationships and stability, which is why we do not work with daily supply.

We deliver the right candidate to the right school, every time.

View their flyer here

Current roles with Edustaff


Hays Education has a team of 200 specialist consultants, in 32 offices, working with over 4,000 schools, colleges and nurseries across the UK; filling over 8,000 temporary and permanent, education and teaching jobs.

We work exclusively with over 1,000 schools and colleges giving you access to the latest supply teaching jobs, long term or permanent teaching jobs.

Current roles with Hays

Milk Education

Milk Education is a specialist education recruitment agency providing quality supply talent to nurseries & schools across Merseyside, Midlands and Greater Manchester.

Whether you are looking for a new teaching role, a new support position or want access to the right teaching personnel for your school, our specialist consultants will work with you to partner and deliver supply solutions that match.

Current roles with Milk

NQT Collaborative

We know from experience that your NQT year is a pivotal point in your career. We are here to ensure that your first permanent teaching position is the right one for you.

Our extensive pre-screening process will ensure that we only speak to you about positions that fall within the requirements that you initially specify.

View their message to Hope NQTs here

Available NQT roles with NQT Collaborative



Success depends on the people around you. We believe in the power of people: our goal is to help unlock a world of exciting career opportunities for our candidates whilst ensuring our clients have top class support at all times.

At Randstad, we have been helping teachers and support staff just like you find temporary and permanent jobs in education for more than 20 years.

Current roles with Randstad

School Improvement Liverpool

We have an established reputation as one of the leading service providers in the North West. Our consultancy, training and professional development allows schools and settings to be the best they can be.

Developed in collaboration with Liverpool schools, we work with educational professionals at all stages of their career to find rewarding jobs across the phases in Liverpool and across Merseyside.

View their flyer here

Current roles with SIL


Supply Well 

SupplyWell is changing the way schools recruit teachers and keep all of their staff #TeachingHappy. We believe that ALL teachers should be treated and paid fairly, with access to perks and benefits they don’t usually get.

We want teachers to love teaching…all the time! At SupplyWell we work with our partner schools to ensure that wellbeing is central to both your and the schools success.

Read about #TeachersMatter – improving wellbeing for teachers

Blog – All About Teaching Written By Teachers

Vision for Education

We recruit and supply teachers and other support staff for primary, secondary and SEND schools and other learning institutions. Our branches are located all across the country. We are always looking to recruit experienced and newly qualified teachers, teaching assistants (TAs), higher level teaching assistants (HLTAs), cover supervisors and other school support staff for day-to-day supply, short and long-term placements and permanent jobs.

Our consultants are knowledgeable about the current educational climate and the challenges that teachers and support staff face. We develop close relationships with teachers and schools to understand their needs.

View their flyer here 

Current roles with Vision


How I got my job at Liverpool’s Growth Platform

About me:
My name is Jacob Sanderson, I completed a Business Management degree at Hope University between the period of 2016-2019. I am local to the Childwall area and stayed at home during my time at Hope. I completed my degree with a grade of a 2:1 and I am hoping to go back to complete a master’s at Hope in the future.

Who do I work for and what is my job role?

Growth PlatformI work for the organization Growth Platform; we are a non-profit organization with the aim to support people and businesses in the Liverpool City Region. Growth Platform has been established by the Liverpool City Region’s Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership to simplify and strengthen the City Region’s business investment and growth landscape, making it easier for business to invest, grow and generate more and better jobs for our residents.

I work within the business growth team in as a Business Growth Executive, which is a graduate role. The purpose of my role is to support my team members with day to day work and projects which gives me a wide wealth of experience in different sectors. Regarding personal job tasks, I currently gather business intelligence from each Liverpool City Region borough on a weekly basis about issues that are affecting businesses (most recently leaving the EU and COVID-19). The intelligence I gather is constructed into a report that is sent into government. I am also currently working on a project surrounding Inclusive growth and Good/Ethical Business within the region.

The Journey to my Job Read More

Job-Searching 101

Under the current cloud of Covid-19, sourcing and securing employment is a whole new challenge, both in terms of available jobs and the recruitment process per se. The purpose of today’s blog is:

  • to help enhance your approach during the outbreak.
  • prepare you for accessing the labour market for the future…it might not seem like it right now but better times do lay ahead!

I will broadly outline the different types of job-search sources, searching technique and some practical tips on planning…I expect it will be of no surprise to you that our focus will be on online sources.

Treat it like an assessment!

I hear transferable skills thrown around by academics, students and employers without any grounding on a daily basis. However, I do see strong similarities between the skills you use for assessed work at university and in securing employment.

  • The techniques you use to find books, journals and other literature require the same skills as knowing where to access information about employment opportunities.
  • Structuring an argument is synonymous with convincing a recruiter you are the best match for a position.
  • Lastly, a CV, application and interview will be scored using the same techniques as your lecturers use when grading your work.

What job(s) are you looking for?

This is a pivotal question and in the long run will be most effective. Having a specified range of jobs saves time in terms of knowing where to look, what to use and in some cases you can recycle elements of previous research and applications.

The purpose of work is also important. Are you looking for part-time, full-time, casual or temporary? Is it a short-term job while you study, a stepping stone role or a longer-term ‘career job’?

Use more than Indeed!

Searching online

Every job-search engine has its usages, so does Indeed. However, Indeed isn’t a one-stop shop (I’m not convinced that there is one) and shouldn’t be used as one. Below is a list of search-engines alongside how I recommend you use them.

1 General (Sweep) search-engines

Find a job (GOV.UK)



CV Library


Total Jobs

2 Graduate search-engines

My Careers Centre                                                           Prospects


Target Jobs                                                                        Milkround

All About Careers                                                            Rate My Placement

Glassdoor                                                                          The Guardian


3 Bespoke searches

Prospects: job profiles

At the bottom of each job profile you will find direct links to specialist recruitment sites and organisations. This is ideal for somebody with one profession in mind.


Company websites

If you are aware of the type of profession you would like to work in and know some of the leading organisations that recruit them, then this could also be an effective tactic.

Don’t be put off if the job has a slightly different name

Job vacancies can vary in title name and level so don’t limit yourself before you’ve even started. Be creative with your word-searches and keep an open-mind to entry-level and junior roles too – in the long-run this could be the quickest way to your primary goal and further progression.


The Hidden Job Market

Alternatives to search engines

The hidden job market describes recruitment that is typically not advertised and doesn’t usually follow the formal process of cv, application form and interview. Although there isn’t a fixed figure, at least 50% of all appointments to jobs are made this way. That can include:

Internal appointments                                                Friends and acquaintances

Head-hunted                                                                 Promotions

Experience workers                                                    Recruiters

Although I would certainly advocate for search-engines as your primary approach hidden jobs tell us that there are other techniques to consider such as:

Informal conversations and networking                 Incite days

Volunteering and shadowing                                     Training opportunities

Internships and placements                                       Recruiters

Internal jobs

Golden rule: have a clear aim and a plan of action

1. Be clear about the types of jobs that you are looking for. Use the most effective search platform or method for that.

2. Have a list of all possible differences in the job title name to avoid missing out.

3. Keep a job diary – this will come in handy when employers get back in touch with you regarding interviews. This is also a helpful way to determine how suitable you are for a type of job and if you are getting the most out of your CV and application form technique.

4. Maintain a consistent approach to your job search. For example, Monday could be your designated job-search day, Tuesday, networking and experience and the remainder of the week applying for jobs.

5. Make sure that you are suitable for the job you intend to apply for – check the person-specification for this.

6. Save all job descriptions, person specifications and application forms you’ve applied for, for the purpose of interview planning.

We’re still here to help!

As always, the Careers and Employability is here to help, even in these difficult times. You can access us, via emailtelephone or video call by emailing as well as My Careers Centre.