How do I get a job in public relations? Awards, blogs, and Twitter

How do I get a job in public relations? Awards, blogs, and Twitter

There’s never been such a good time to enter the public relations profession. Our business is shifting from publicity to having a role within every area of a modern organization. Public relations is increasingly recognized as a management discipline, and is represented at the highest levels in organizations.

But the market for jobs is fiercely competitive. Smart students are using a combination of a blog and Twitter to build a profile and network to land a job before they leave university.

A blog is fantastic way to build a personal profile, whereas Twitter enables you build a network of future employers and share content.

Here are two further ways for public relations students to get ahead and get hired, that have been spearheaded by individuals and organizations keen to promote future talent.

Behind the Spin’s best student PR blogger

Public relations educator Richard Bailey is hosting a six-month competition on Behind the Spin to find the best student blogger.

Each week Richard posts the best blog posts from UK PR students shared using the hashtags #bestPRblogs and #prstudent.

30-odd students from UK universities are participating in the competition, with Southampton and Sunderland ahead of the pack. It’s a wonderful community that is discussing issues facing modern practice.

There's still room for more contributors.

If you're thinking about getting started, here’s an ebook that I wrote last year with Caroline O’Doherty, about how to start a blog, and here are 75 suggestions for possible topics.

You’ve no excuses.

Richard Bailey’s initiative, spotlighting young talent, is a good counterpoint to Paul Sutton’s blog post last week where he asked where have all the communication bloggers gone?

Blogging is alive and well among the student community.

The competition runs until 5 April 2015 (Easter) when Richard has asked me to name the UK’s best student blogger. I’m going to be looking for original content, application of social media, and an understanding of modern practice.

2015 Douglas Smith Student Award

The CIPR’s International group announced the annual Douglas Smith Student Award last week.

Now in its second year, the competition is the brainchild of hardworking CIPR volunteers Eva Maclaine and Pamela Mounter.


Students are challenged to prepare a public relations campaign for the launch of a new wearable technology product.

Please check the CIPR International website for further details. The closing date is 31 March, with the winner announced in June 2015.

It’s a challenge that strikes at a topical ethical issue for our business, and was the subject of a CIPR-sponsored debate in the House of Commons last year.

The award will be judged by a panel including digital health practitioner Stephen Davies, Professor Anne Gregory, CIPR President Sarah Pinch, and myself.

“Smith was a founder and patron of CIPR International, and supported young talent. This is our way of celebrating his memory,” said Eva Maclaine, chair of CIPR International, and a CIPR Board member.

Getting ahead, and getting hired

Finally if you're looking for your first job, I recommend following Sarah Stimson and checking out her excellent book How to get a job in PR. Sarah has helped countless people start out and develop their careers in public relations.

Writing a blog, developing a network via Twitter, and entering competitions such as #bestPRblogs and the Douglas Smith Student Award takes effort and a degree of bravery.

But there’s a massive dividend. You’ll set yourself apart from your peers, and employers will seek you out, rather than vice versa.

Good luck.

'Be the change that you want to see' in public relations

'Be the change that you want to see' in public relations

25 whimsical words

25 whimsical words