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Public Relations (PR) Roles

How to hire a graduate for a PR role

Candidate profile:

A confident, sociable and communicative individual who is very good at building and managing relationships with people. They should be creative in order to promote businesses and approach clients, and possess strong writing skills in order to write a range of engaging content for clients.

A degree in a subject like Science or History will have equipped the candidate with the research skills needed in order to communicate accurately and authoritatively on a subject. Other humanities subjects such as English or a Modern Language will have helped the candidate build up strong communication skills.

Top skills:

  1. Written & verbal communication
  2. Research & analytical
  3. Interpersonal
  4. Time management
  5. Creative

Non-office experience

  • If a candidate has taken part in a variety of extracurricular activities throughout their time at university and achieved a high grade then this shows that they possess the great time management skills needed for the job.
  • Any writing experience such as writing for their university paper or maintaining their own blog is a good indicator. Basic writing skills are essential for a job in PR, most other things can be taught.

Office experience

  • Any client facing experience will have taught the candidate how to communicate appropriately with them and will be beneficial.
  • Practical experience in PR, such as an internship or placement, is incredibly valuable. Not only will the candidate have a good knowledge of the industry and day-to-day workings of a PR role, but they will also know that this is a sector they’d like to pursue.

Green flag

  • Has an interest in and is aware of brands
  • Has their own blog or social media channels (or at least shows an interest in those areas)

Red flag

  • Spelling errors in their application
  • Someone who doesn’t present themselves well

At interview

  • Since a large part of the PR process is contacting newspapers and magazines, it can be a good idea to set up a role play during the interview to assess the candidate’s verbal skills as well as to see how quickly they can grasp a new subject and then talk about it. You could ask the candidate to present an idea that you have briefed them on to a “journalist” to see whether they’d like to cover it in their publication.
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