What it involves
Public relations (PR) account executives are responsible for handling all aspects of planned publicity campaigns and PR activities during periods of crisis. They work closely with media organisations, typically writing and producing presentations and press releases, organising promotional events such as press conferences and analysing media coverage.
Other tasks include:
- liaising with clients, managerial and journalistic staff about budgets, timescales and objectives
- designing ‘in-house' journals and similar publications
- authorising market research
- planning publicity strategies.
A degree in any subject is acceptable for entry into the profession, although English, management, business/media studies, marketing or behavioural sciences may be preferred by some employers. A PR postgraduate qualification can be helpful, as can work experience gained within the PR, marketing or journalism trades.
PR is a popular career choice and graduate training scheme vacancies are highly sought after. Consequently, some graduates enter the profession at a junior level via administrative or secretarial work, or move into PR following a career in marketing, journalism or advertising.
Where to find out more
Employers include consultancies, commercial and industrial organisations, companies, retailers, manufacturers, advertising/marketing agencies, central and local government, charities, the National Health Service, educational establishments and trade unions. Vacancies are advertised by careers services and recruitment agencies and in national newspapers and specialist publications including Press Gazette and PR Week.
The Institute of Public Relations publishes lists of voluntary charity-based placements and salaried graduate training schemes. The Public Relations Consultants Association Yearbook and Hollis UK Press and Public Relations Annual Directory can provide useful contact information for networking and speculative applications, for which a portfolio of written work may be useful for highlighting relevant abilities.