How to Start a Career in Digital PR
So you’ve put in a huge amount of work for the last few years. Coursework, research, revision, the odd party (who are we kidding? Plenty of parties), and exams. Now it’s time to celebrate and acknowledge all of that graft with your graduation.
And you know what that entails. An obscene amount of photos being taken by your family, your Grandma sighing at the hemline of your gown because you’ve stepped on it with your heels, *lots* of champagne (or let’s be real, prosecco), and the iconic scroll that doesn’t actually say anything on it. It’s the rite of passage that every Gen-Z (and all those before you) has been waiting for since they started year 7.
But after all of the grad celebrations, life gets real. The world of work is looming, and if you’ve not secured a job or you’re still deliberating what industry you actually want to join, you might want to give this a read. Digital PR is a sector that is growing in both size and popularity. Combining creativity with technicality and innovation, it’s an exciting world that offers so many opportunities. Like what you’re hearing? Here’s how to kickstart your career in digital PR.
Things You Can Do to Make Yourself More Employable
OK, so every employer is looking for something different, but you can boost your employability by taking note of the following:
Look for internships at Digital PR companies
We’re not just saying this because we offer internships, they’re actually really useful for learning the ins and outs of the industry in a practical environment. You’ve probs spent the last 3 years learning from a lecture hall, and while that’s cool, you’re going to need some real-life experience.
Internships will help you get to grips with what the working world is like, and if the company you’re interning for is anything like us, they’ll be super encouraging, helpful, and willing you to be the best you can be. You’ll also benefit from:
- You’ll get insight into the tools and techniques used in digital PR.
- You’ll work on hands-on projects.
- You’ll develop social skills – both personally, and professionally.
- You’ll be able to decide which part of digital PR you want to specialise in.
- You’ll develop time management skills.
Get to grips with the difference between Digital and Traditional PR
You’ll need to know the difference between digital and traditional PR because agencies use both methods and can favour them when working on certain campaigns. So, make sure you’ve done your research on the two, and can actively explain to an employer the difference. Extra points if you can give examples of when each version would be preferred.
And while Google can tell you a lot, there’s nothing like experiencing this industry firsthand. There are so many sectors you can explore, and you may find you prefer digi PR over traditional. But regardless, you’ll need to know the difference, because, in this day and age, they cross over massively.
Gather some ideas of different brand campaigns that you like
Imagine you’re going for an interview and your potential employer asks you some personal questions about why you think a career in digital PR is for you. If you simply come back with “I didn’t know what else I wanted to do,” we’re afraid you won’t make the cut.
Instead, put together a little portfolio of different brand campaigns that resonate with you. Tell the interviewer why you like them, and if you can, explain how you would have approached the digital PR strategy should you have worked on it.
Get on Twitter!
There’s a massive Twitter community for both SEO and digi PR, so it’s worth spending some time scrolling through the app to gain some knowledge from people who are currently working in the industry. There’re also loads of experts on there that offer really useful advice and info on the field, so it’s an idea to dig them out and give them a follow.
There’s no reason you can’t make yourself known on there, either. Twitter is predominantly a place of conversation and discussion, so if you feel comfortable, you can respond to tweets, ask questions, and just generally put yourself out there as an enthusiastic and prospective future digi PR whiz. More to the point – when else can you not feel guilty about laying on your bed trawling through social media for hours?
Work out which industries you’d like to work for – do you want to be in-house or do you prefer the agency side?
Another consideration is whether you’d prefer to be a digital PR professional who works in-house for a company or externally for an agency.
In-house consists of an internal marketing team that your company manages to market your business. In comparison, agency digi PR uses an outsourced or external marketing team that companies pay to use to market a biz. Both have their pros, including:
- Brand familiarity
- Diverse specialities
Keep on top of the news and try to spot recurring themes, trending topics, etc.
Just like any industry, it’s essential you keep on top of its news. And with digital PR being a sector that is forever evolving and expanding, (and as we know, technology is levelling up rapidly ALL the time) you don’t want to fall behind. You can keep up with shifting trends in plenty of ways, including:
- Reading online publications dedicated to digi PR. (Make sure you subscribe to them, too, as any breaking news will land straight in your inbox so you can’t miss it.)
- Stay in the know with up-to-date marketing courses and training programmes.
- Read blogs dedicated to digi PR.
- Link back to Twitter and LinkedIn and connect with experts.
- Set up Google alerts to stay ahead of the game.
- Listen to industry podcasts.
Learn the basics of SEO
Digital PR and SEO go hand-in-hand. They often cross over during campaigns, so it’s handy to know the basics of search engine optimisation. It may also come in handy should you find you enjoy SEO more – it’s really easy to cross over between the two fields, and many industry experts find they work across both areas for the majority of their careers. We’ve actually written a blog on how to start a career in SEO, which is worth the read regardless of your preference.
Listen to Podcasts
OK, so we’ve already mentioned listening to industry podcasts in a previous tip, but it deffo deserves its own para, don’t you think? Because in all honesty, who doesn’t love a podcast?
Not only are they engaging and offer a different (and sometimes more relaxed) information source, but they are also often used within digital marketing strategies to captivate an audience. We’ve taken the pleasure of listing a few that members of our team like and find useful:
Look for charities that might be looking for volunteer work in the area for you to further your skills
Volunteering always looks good on a CV, so why not volunteer within the industry you want to work in? Like internships, they offer you first-hand experience of what day-to-day life is actually like within digital PR. From assisting on campaigns to liaising with clients, you’ll be able to get a feel for what a career in the industry will entail.
Kickstart Your Career
Hopefully, this has given you some helpful advice on how to start your career in digital PR. It’s an industry that is literally never boring, and there are so many opportunities for you to learn, grow, and forge a career in one of the most innovative industries on. the. planet.