Propeller Take Off raises opportunities for PR hopefuls

Propeller recently hosted an event in partnership with the London College of Communication designed to help young people and students in PR to kick start their careers. The panel was chaired by John Harrington, deputy editor of PR Week and featured Elijah Lawal, PR Manager at Google UK, Charlotte Tobin, Founder of Belle PR, Sarah Stimson CEO of The Taylor Bennett Foundation along with Propeller’s own Laura Lovejoy, Account Manager. Laura has put together the below account of the event.

I was delighted to be part of the panel and be able to pop back to my old university as it wasn’t that long ago I was in the audience’s shoes, trying to figure out which PR path to take. It’s not even been two years since I left university and already I have experienced a lot in terms of PR skill as well as learning that it’s not ok to work until 10pm every single night.

Having a mixture of panellists from those who are still early on in their careers and those that have taken the plunge to create their own agency, mixed with Elijah who works in-house and Sarah who has spent years in recruitment, meant that the advice was varied and catered to the whole audience. We were able to offer different opinions on everything from how to get your first job to what steps the industry needs to take as whole to improve PR practise.

One of the biggest takeaways from the night was whether you really needed to go to university to be successful at PR. I was the only person on the panel that had a PR degree, the others included history and law but we all identified that it doesn’t matter either way. Both Elijah, Sarah and Charlotte have experience with recruiting and all said a degree can help in proving that you can research and write but it’s not essential.

For me, a PR degree helped in terms of building a network, getting my first job, as well as building a deeper understanding of the industry and PR practitioners responsibility. However I work alongside people that haven’t been to university and that doesn’t impact their ability to do the job.

Other topics discussed included how to improve the industry. All of the panellists agreed that PR is changing and media relations is no longer enough, our jobs now include everything from creating and promoting LinkedIn posts to managing clients’ social media accounts.

One thing for sure is that it’s a great time to be in PR, in five years time we can expect it to look totally different to now and with that comes developing different skills and having new experiences, which is super exciting.

The event was a great success and we had a full room of students looking for their first jobs and those already working in PR who were looking to change sectors or simply progress. This was the first of its kind event that Propeller has been part of and we were pleased that we were able to offer advice and answer any questions - we’ve even had a few members of the audience come to us for jobs since.

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