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5 things you should know before getting a job in PR

3 min, 51 sec read
9:00 AM | 25 March 2015
by Adam Oldfield
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Keen on landing a job in the PR industry? We’ve asked some masters from the PR industry to share their top tips on getting a job in Public Relations.

We spoke to Graham Goodkind of Frank PR, Gemma McCartney of M&C Saatchi PR, Dominic Shales of Lexis, Louisa Papachristou of Halo PR and Stephen Waddington of Ketchum.


Graham Goodkind
Chairman & Founder, Frank PR

"I could count on one hand, even on one finger, the number of CVs I've seen in the last year that have really stood out."

"We get inundated with CVs, I'm sure lots of good PR consultancies do, so many people want to work in PR these days. But I could count on one hand, even on one finger, the number of CVs I've seen in the last year that have really stood out. They're all so similar and conventional. PR is all about creating cut through in a busy media landscape for clients. You need to create that same cut through with your CV or job application. Do something different, interesting, exciting but relevant. To get noticed you need to earn the right."

Graham learnt his trade at legendary agency Lynne Franks PR, where he worked his way up through the ranks from trainee to MD. Follow Graham @Goodkind.


Gemma McCartney
Global Head of Talent & Marketing, M&C Saatchi PR

"Be fearless and unaffected, so you’re able to take on any task no matter how large or small."

"Be ready and prepared for anything. Be fearless and unaffected, so you’re able to take on any task no matter how large or small.

Be a voracious consumer of information. Read and watch everything in sight and look for the interesting, unique or new in the world. Great ideas can come from unusual places."

Gemma has over 14 years experience in PR. Having worked for the likes of Porter Novelli, Futurebrand and Weber Shandwick. Follow Gemma @gems_macca.


Dominic Shales
Managing Director, Lexis

"Don't get a job in PR if you don't consume media voraciously."

"Don't get a job in PR if you don't consume media voraciously and aren't curious to learn about many varied topics (that sometimes you didn't even know you could be interested in)."

Dominic started his career working on consumer accounts in the media, sport and automotive sectors at KBH Communications. He then went onto co-found Paratus Communications which was acquired by Lexis in 2012. Follow Dominic @dominicshales.


Louisa Papachristou
Founder, Halo PR

"Making mistakes is all part of the learning process and will help you develop an instinct for what works."

"Being good at PR doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a skill that needs to be worked at and developed over time. One of the key attributes of any good PR practitioner is the ability to spot a good story and this goes hand in hand with understanding your target audience.

The best way to develop this skill is to read the press and listen to the news as much as possible. A wider interest in the world at large will help hone your ability to know what’s newsworthy. Don’t worry if you get it wrong to start with. Making mistakes is all part of the learning process and will help you develop an instinct for what works."

Louisa Papachristou recently founded Halo PR after working at TMW and Eulogy previously. Follow Louisa @louisapapas.


Stephen Waddington
Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum

"Blogging is the best way to consistently build your personal reputation in my view."

"We get candidates walking into Ketchum all the time that claim to be digitally native yet when you check them out via a Google query they have no visible online presence.

Blogging is the best way to consistently build your personal reputation in my view. It’s also an excellent way of exploring ideas and building relationships through hyperlinks and comments.

If you write about the market and companies that you aspire to work for you’ll soon attract their attention. Share your views and join in conversations on other blogs about the challenges that your chosen profession faces such as research, analytics, creative, workflow and expertise in all forms of media including paid, earned, shared and owned.

You should aim to post a blog once a week, or so. It’ll likely take a couple of hours to research, write, edit and proof. Aim to spend as much time editing and proofing as you do writing."

Stephen co-founded and run two award-winning public relations agencies; Rainier PR in 1998, and Speed in 2009. During 2014 President of the CIPR. Follow Stephen @wadds.

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