Monday, 2 November 2009

CIPR Speed Networking Event

Last Tuesday I attended a Public Relations speed networking event which was arranged by CIPR representative, Lisa Jones who is also PR Account Director at Reeves Green Partners Ltd in Lichfield. I had the opportunity to meet seven different people working within Public Relations, all with different levels of experience and different job roles. Some of the companies which these PR practitioners work for include Haslimann Taylor, Hopwood, Everards and Unsworth Sugden, as well as many more.

The main reason why I attended this event was to find out more about working within PR and how I go about getting a PR related career after I complete my MA Public Relations degree. Just a few days before I attended the event I had been searching on the internet for jobs within PR and I was disappointed to find out that there is only a handful of agencies that offer graduate schemes and even then they don’t take many people on.

The majority of job vacancies for PR Account Executives ask for applicants to have a minimum of six months previous experience of working within PR, this gave me the dilemma of how would I get my first job when no one will employ me without previous experience? This made me want to find out more information and this was part of the reason I attended the speed networking event.

After speaking with many of the PR practitioners at the event I learned that the best way to go about getting your first PR job is by perseverance. A lot of the people I spoke to were refused by many agencies before they got their first job and they just took each rejection with a 'pinch of salt' and carried on applying for more jobs.

Another important thing I found out was to show how creative you are to the employer and showing them your personality as it is your personality which normally gets you the job in the interview rather than your CV. I also learnt about what an average day is like working in a PR agency or in-house PR team. The type of work involved varies depending on the size of the agency and whether you’re working in an agency or in-house.

I have learnt a lot from speaking to all these people and have been given some great advice which I am going to use in the future. I am also a lot more optimistic about getting a job after my degree and am a lot more aware of what qualities are looked for in a PR practitioner. I thoroughly enjoyed the speed networking event and would advise anyone interested in a career in PR to attend any future ones.

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