My First Year in PR

Thoughts-

After ticking over a year in PR, Clare (Account Coordinator), Bebe and Alex (Account Executives) share what they’ve learnt in their first 12 months on the job. 

What made you want to work in PR? 

Bebe: I started my own magazine at age 10, which is when I first knew I wanted to work in either PR or journalism. But ultimately, I think it’s my passion for people (and talking!) that landed me in this industry.  

Clare: I was halfway through my first year of university before I even knew what PR was. I was studying journalism and took an intro to PR class and loved that I could combine writing and researching without the doom and gloom of being a journalist.  

 

What was the most unexpected thing about working in PR?  

Bebe: Probably truly understanding what PR is and learning everything that’s involved in the work. Because it’s mostly ‘behind-the-scenes’ work, not many people know what it is beyond the odd mentions of it in books, film and TV.  

Alex: It is one thing to be on the receiving end of media, but being privy to the processes and hard work that goes into each and every story has been so interesting and unexpected. 

 

What is the biggest lesson you learnt in your first year on the job?  

Clare: How much knowledge you need to have on your clients – you need to know their roles and company better than themselves and be able to speak to topics and industries you’ve had no prior exposure to. 

Alex: Teamwork really does make the dream work. Learning how to effectively work in a team has been a huge lesson learnt – and one that extends far beyond the realms of PR.  

What would you tell someone considering a career in PR?  

Bebe: To show your enthusiasm and take any opportunity you can. At entry-level, most employers will be looking for passion over experience. 

Clare: Go for it. I feel like it’s the kind of career you don’t need to devote your life to, and it can lead to so many other places. 

Alex: Say yes! As trite as it may sound, saying yes to every opportunity is seriously integral to success. And get out there. Have conversations with people in the industry, read the news, get as much experience as possible, be enthusiastic and ask questions. 

 

What is the best piece of professional advice someone has given you?

Bebe: My Dad told me: ‘take charge of your own career because your life is your responsibility’. When you’re starting out it can be hard to know your own value, but put your hand up when you have something to say. 

Clare: My manager Tim Lele gave me some advice that puts our job into perspective: “PR not ER” – meaning nothing is life-threatening, no matter how stressful it gets.  

Alex: “People actually care, and want to hear what you have to say” – Mitchell Blincoe. It may sound like a given, but it is a piece of advice that often brings me back down to earth.  

 

Is there anything you wish you could have done differently?

Bebe: I never interned at an agency (only in-house) before landing my job and I wish I did. In my opinion, it’s also the best way to learn the most when the first starting out.  

Alex: Looking back on my first year, I wish I took the time to just slow down and soak it all in! Our jobs are so fast paced and dynamic it can be easy to forget to stop and take it all in. 

 

What was your biggest achievement in your first year?  

Bebe: I’ve really enjoyed working on the Guide Dogs account – it’s been a bit of a dream of mine to work on PR in the NFP space. In my first year I secured a couple of media opportunities for them including a Today Show segment and a Bendigo Times cover, as well as being able to work on some of their national campaigns.

Clare: Securing print and online coverage in the Herald Sun for HERE Technologies. It was a traffic data story that we put hours in to get across the line. I was so proud of myself; I ran into the milk bar on Saturday morning to buy the paper and proudly showed it to the man behind the counter! 

 

What is your favourite thing about your job? 

Bebe: Honestly, there’s so many things I love! Each day in my job is completely different and full of surprises, which keeps me going. And my team, they’re such a talented, motivated and FUN bunch of people. 

Clare: I love the different hats we get to wear and the different things we get exposure to. No two days are the same! I also love the PR team, there are some incredibly smart and talented people who are extremely inspiring. 

 

If this sounds like your dream career, we’d love to hear from you!