Key skills/knowledge that are essential in my current role are ability to work to deadline, ability to work and keep cool under pressure, using your own initiative to foresee/solve problems, ability to write in various styles/tones accurately, creativity with ideas/brainstorming.
After leaving college I worked in a call centre for much longer than I expected or wanted! I applied for the job of journalist in a local newspaper and because of my degree in English I was successful in my application. After working there a few months, I saw an ad that a multi-city radio station (4fm) were looking for a number of staff. I was successfully employed there as receptionist, a job only given to me because of my journalistic background. During my time in 4fm, I worked as a researcher for weekend radio shows, and was also promoted to sales manager. I left 4fm at the end of 2010 to go travelling. I had stayed in touch with a few people from 4fm, and when they heard I was on my way home a former colleague told me that Unique Media were looking for an intern. After a 3 month internship, I was offered a permanent contract in the role of PR account exec, which I have been doing since January/February 2012.
My current role as an account exec means that I look after the day-to-day client needs, and support senior account execs/account managers as needed. No two days are the same, but for the most part I am interacting with the media and clients to generate PR, devising strategies and PR plans tailored to each client’s needs, event management, arranging photocalls, writing press releases etc.
The most interesting part is that you never know what is going to happen that day. The media can be unpredictable and it can make the job very interesting and fun. This also makes it challenging! You have to learn to roll with the punches and to develop a very thick skin to work in PR.
(submitted July 2012)