From the moment I walked in to the offices of Liz Lean PR in Sandbanks, back in 2003, I knew I wanted to work in PR. I was on a six week work placement as part of my degree and it was those weeks that put me on the path to a career in public relations.
I loved the different projects that the team worked on, that everyday was different and the satisfaction of securing some fabulous client coverage. Even though I was the work experience girl, I was included in lots of different aspects of PR from client meetings to planning, writing press releases and attending events. One particular event that I really enjoyed helping to organise was Bournemouth Oceanarium’s hospitality evening. It was a great event where the town’s hoteliers were invited to come along, have a look around and have an underwater tour; this was in the hope that they would recommend the attraction to their guests. It was a super idea and one I later used myself for a restaurant.
The placement confirmed that I wanted to work in PR but it was not one of the options I had chosen for my final year at university and it was too late to change. So I looked for a part time PR job and was lucky enough to be offered one doing the PR for Fleshlight UK (male sex toys!) This gave me a great portfolio but caused many blushes for prospective employers later down the line!
After uni, I moved back to Cambridgeshire and PR jobs were very few and far between so I took a role as a Marketing Assistant at a local technology company and also enrolled on a CIPR course. After nine months of stuffing envelopes I left, but my new job wasn’t in PR either – I was a Marketing Manager for a car dealership. The job had a proportion of PR – writing press releases, local media liaison and organising the odd event but it really wasn’t what I envisaged for my career and two years in I decided to move on again. I scoured the job pages every Thursday and one day there it was – “PR Assistant wanted” for a small local PR agency. I jumped for joy and immediately whizzed off my CV which resulted in an interview and the job! I started at the bottom, with a wage to match but I was working in PR and my career could really get started!
The journey was one of perseverance and doing PR here and there for charities and my sisters business – anything to bolster my portfolio. PR is a really popular career choice for graduates but competition is high, so experience counts.
It took me nearly three years to get a job in PR but I never gave up and now I run my own agency. If you are in the same boat, your time will come!