It’s no secret that the last year was a remarkably difficult one the world over, and three months into the new year, things are still rather shaky.
Looking for employment is a daunting task for communications graduates right now, in a country that has a 32.5% unemployment rate.
So, we thought we’d write this piece to remind communications graduates of the light at the end of the tunnel – that there are many fascinating careers that await them when (not if!) they find that job.
From our perspective, as two client service executives just starting out in the world of public relations (PR), here are seven reasons why we believe PR is a great career choice in the world of communications.
1. A creative’s dream
PR can expose you to a variety of creative opportunities.
Not only do you get the chance to work on familiar brands, but you also get to contribute to how these brands are perceived by the general public through the campaigns and content you will help put together.
PR encourages you to use your creativity to assist brands in making a true impact, which is something you can always look back on and say, “I was a part of that!”
2. Being part of a global network
One of the biggest perks about working in PR is the prospect of working overseas, especially if the company you work for has offices in other countries.
The opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across a variety of projects is essential to your growth, especially in this ever-changing world. Hill+Knowlton Strategies is one such agency that will afford you such an opportunity, as it boasts a network of more than 80 offices on five continents.
3. A master of many trades
An entry-level position in PR will afford you plenty of opportunities to find your niche, as you will be exposed to a myriad of tasks.
Later on, you’ll also get the chance to specialise in a particular area of PR such as influencer management, content creation and media relations, to mention a few.
By trying your hand at these various tasks early on, you’ll also master the arts of multi-tasking, flexibility and forward-thinking.
4. Confidence is key
No matter your personality type, one thing that PR will teach you, or at the very least bring out in you, is confidence.
You will need confidence when the opportunity arises to be part of a presentation of a communications strategy or proposal to senior management, and sometimes a CEO.
Once you have done a few of these, your confidence will grow and with that comes success.
5. Knowledge is limitless
PR has evolved over the last few decades. The demand for new skills that will benefit clients (and you) has changed things and the way we work completely.
Whether its creative writing, graphic design, filming or videography, PR has opened a world that values new ideas and content development.
As we continue to move with the times, mediums such as websites, influencer relations and social media management have become the standard approach within PR practice.
Who knows, there’s probably a medium out there that hasn’t been discovered yet, which is waiting for you to create.
6. Tap into the industry
One of the most rewarding experiences of working in PR is the opportunity to collaborate with other creatives and agencies. This is because some clients’ work will require you to diversify your approach to certain projects, and often the secret lies in collaboration, whether internally or externally. It’s also best practice for all of a brand’s communications to be singing from the same hymn sheet.
7. Your influence is powerful
Think about this for a moment: your thoughts, opinions and guidance become a part of the journey of multiple brands and corporations, even in the smallest of ways. You fundamentally carry the narrative brands wish to execute.
While each client will have some aspirations, objectives and goals they’d like to conquer your company’s consultation with clients, which you are a part of, leads the way for their future as thought leaders in their industries.
In a nutshell, PR is a demanding career path, but it makes sense for those who crave challenges that come with unique rewards, hard work and creative opportunities. The benefits you reap at the end of the day are rewarding, especially if you love what you do.
. Molefe and Van der Venter are client service executives at Hill+Knowlton Strategies SA