I never knew I wanted to work in PR. In fact, as is the case with many students in their early twenties, I was never really sure what I wanted to do once my Journalism degree was over. I still remember sitting in my flat applying for jobs, struggling to come up with sentences that would sum up my skills and expertise in the most stylish way possible.
And guess what I learnt? That if you take “creative writing” and “2 week internship at local magazine”, throw in a few positive resume action words, then ta-daa, you get “My time spent writing feature articles for a variety of topics at XX magazine enabled me to hone my creativity and develop new writing styles.”
What I picked up from this tireless exercise was that if I enjoyed making myself sound so appealing on paper, then surely there were companies that required talented writers to market themselves the same way, right? Temporary roles such as “Press Coordinator” and “SEO Copywriter” followed shortly, and while they did help me scratch my writer’s itch to some extent, neither had brought the fulfilment I was hoping for.
The turning point came after a particularly pleasant phone call with a magazine editor, when a colleague turned to me and said “you’ve got a knack for writing and you clearly enjoy chatting to people… ever thought of working in public relations?” Thus began a search for all the PR and communications roles available on the various jobsites and recruitment newsletters, leading me eventually to an agency called AD Communications.
I fell in love with the AD website pretty quickly (“Free company chocolate AND you get to work with 19 women??”) and I was lucky enough to be called in for a couple of interviews. Soon enough, I was offered a position as Account Executive, which I should point out, involves a fair amount more than just writing and chatting to people. It’s a role where a fair amount of communication – both internal and external – is involved, but also one where it is essential to refine your flexibility and diplomacy skills, not to mention the art of multi-tasking (which I still haven’t quite mastered, but I’m getting there!).
The fact that AD Communications is a specialist agency was never a deterrent, in fact since I joined I realise just how much versatility and diversity there is working in what, to some, can be perceived as a niche area. We get involved in everything from strategic consultancy through copywriting and social media, and having a broad general knowledge can be really helpful. I’ve never felt constricted in what I’ve been working on.
But, what never ceases to amaze me is how open and welcoming PR and communications is as a sector. I’ve been told that my writing and knowledge of foreign languages were the two skills that got me noticed. Some here have a degree in creative writing, some were magazine editors, while others have years of extensive B2B marketing and communications experience under their belt. Everyone brings something different to the table and AD always looks forward to welcoming people from new and exciting backgrounds.
Fast forward 8 months and I have now settled into my role as Account Executive rather nicely. On a day to day basis I speak to editors about upcoming feature opportunities, write press releases for my clients and have meetings with the team and clients, all whilst sharing the odd joke and interesting anecdote along the way. I occasionally even get to suit up and attend lunch meetings or networking events (and what young man in his mid twenties doesn’t enjoy doing business in a suit?).
A year ago I never knew I wanted to work in PR. Now I can’t imagine doing anything else. If you’re interested, check out our latest opening under the current opportunities section on our website.