Starting out in any career – whilst incredibly exciting – can be really quite daunting, and overwhelming too. Naturally, there’s the feeling of wanting to get it right the first time but the truth is, you never really know until you try.

As spring fast approaches, 2022 has started to feel rather unsettling to say the least, with many unknowns ahead. When the world seems like an uncertain place, it is easy for any of us to lose our way; perhaps start to question things, panic a little about what we want out of life and where we’re headed, and think about what’s really important to us – if we weren’t doing that already, that is!

That’s why we thought now would be a good time to put together some words of wisdom from the JHPR team, to give some insights into how and why we each arrived at where we are now – for those in particular who are just starting out on their PR career path but who are perhaps feeling a little like a rabbit in headlights!

So first up, we have she who steers the JHPR ship – our director, Jennie:

“I learnt about PR while looking through university prospectuses at college and was fascinated by the subject and what a career in this industry would be like. When I applied, there were just three universities in the country offering a Public Relations degree and all were very much in demand.

Fast forward four years and finally a graduate, I started as a PR exec in an in-house role and quickly moved on to agency, which better suited my personality and need for variation. Until I read about PR in the prospectus, I had no idea what I wanted to do.

My advice is don’t take a course or job because you feel it’s what you should be doing – choose a path that either excites or intrigues you.”

Next, we have senior account manager, Katie:

“After graduating with a degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion at Nottingham Trent University, I worked within PR and marketing roles, in-house for brands, for a number of years which began my love for the industry. I would regularly be in London, meeting with magazines and influencers, selling in products and stories which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I particularly loved the fast-paced nature of PR and the ability to be really creative with campaigns and strategies. This led me to the agency world as I wanted to learn more about different industries and apply my thinking and experience to many various businesses and challenges.

If you are interested in certain career paths, my advice would be to experience them with internships and work experience where possible, to know if it’s a good fit for you – as in a real life setting, it can be very different to how you imagined.”

Next up, we have fellow senior account manager, Georgina:

“My pathway into PR started because of my love for the written word – 

after graduating from university, I helped my mum create a website for her business, along with other marketing materials, before I decided to explore the world of PR through an internship with an agency. This work experience gave me fantastic insight into all things communications, and I was able to get involved with some exciting campaigns that grew my confidence and knowledge of the industry.

From there, I continued my agency career which has provided me with the variation and creativity that I enjoy. I consider it a huge positive that I am able to work with so many different businesses in various sectors and apply my experience to creative campaigns as the world of digital PR continues to evolve.

My advice for anyone unsure about which career path to take is to do what you enjoy above anything else and explore internship and work placement opportunities to gain more insight. Even if you decide an industry isn’t for you, you will still benefit from the valuable professional experience.”

Fourth, it’s senior social media executive, Nav:

“When I was finishing my English degree, I was sure I wanted to pursue a career in journalism. However, during my work experience at a newspaper agency, I was introduced to the world of social media marketing which sparked an interest in me. From then, I knew this was the industry I wanted to build my career in – that is when I began my agency experience in social media. 

A career in social media stood out to me because no day is the same! Platforms are changing more than the weather and I love the challenge of keeping up and understanding how to use each platform to maximise exposure for different businesses. 

My advice would be to take risks and don’t rush. You may accidentally fall into your passion, even when you are working in industries not related to your career. Look more at the skills you can learn and develop on, rather than the job roles. 

Be bold – and brave!”

Fifth, we have digital PR executive, Elyssia:

“Alongside my International Fashion Business Degree, I did an internship for a local fashion brand, which is where I found my love for the creative industry.

After graduating, I freelanced for small local businesses in Nottingham to help them set up their online presence and promote brand awareness. From there, I joined a fast-paced agency which was a very different feel – hitting the ground running, I was working on exciting campaigns with celebrities and attending press events in London with clients.

I would encourage anyone with any interest in this industry to get as much work experience as possible and home in on skills that you will need to progress.”

And finally, we have fellow digital PR executive, Alice:

“I can certainly vouch for work experience as it’s a huge part of why I am where I am today. Following my undergrad degree in English Language in Birmingham, I did two weeks work experience with Jennie here in Nottingham, followed by a further two weeks with another PR agency in Lincoln – my hometown – which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was a really interesting and valuable experience to see how two different agencies functioned, and to be in the thick of the industry.

At the time however, I was applying for lots of different jobs to try a few things out and spontaneously accepted a job at a hotel in Yorkshire where I worked for a year. I then moved to Nottingham and completed my MA in Broadcast Journalism… I’d always dabbled with the idea of an MA in journalism, and loved Nottingham as a city, but PR kept coming back to me – I was even told by some of my tutors that my writing was often quite PR-orientated! I then worked as a post lady in Newark during the pandemic whilst job-hunting, but luckily heard from Jennie again – who I had stayed in contact with – who asked if I was seeking a job in PR, which I very much was!

It’s so exciting to be embarking on a new career path, and I feel very lucky to be part of the JHPR team. Within the world of PR, I particularly enjoy writing releases, building relationships with different clients, and learning new things about different industries every day… So considering my journey into the industry, my advice would be to try lots of different things out because that way, when you end up in a career you enjoy and feel fulfilled in, you’ll know it’s the right fit for you!”

Don’t forget…

We’re on the hunt for a PR Account Manager and Senior PR Account Executive to join our growing JHPR team here in the Lace Market – the heart of #Nottingham.

So if PR is up your street and you have skills and experience to offer, then get in touch.

For details, please visit our “We are hiring!” blog here or head to Indeed.

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