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What Experience Do You Need For A Career In Advertising, marketing & PR

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All you need to know about the Advertising, marketing & PR industry

Advertising, marketing and PR is one of the most rapidly growing and changing industries. At the heart of it is the promotion and public reception of a brand, person or product. It is highly influential in our society and your role would make a real difference to a company.

Of the three, marketing is the umbrella term. Marketing can involve elements of advertising and PR, but also extends to cover market research, strategizing and bringing the customer perspective into a company.

PR is primarily concerned with the media. You’ll be writing press releases, monitoring media mentions and forming relationships with other media publications - all to manage the public perception of a brand/product.

Advertising is everywhere – on a day-to-day basis you’ll see them on websites, billboards, TV, social, public transport. There a range of roles within advertising and usually the bigger the company the more specific the role will be. Advertising campaigns typically involve a team coming up with a concept for a campaign, which then must be planned and executed.

Typically, you usually work in-house or for an agency. In-house teams simply work for the business and its goals/objectives whereas in an agency you will be balancing a selection of clients and working on multiple campaigns simultaneously.
Agency work can be more stressful and involve long hours to ensure that deadlines are met and there is a lot of pressure to keep the client happy (ie – get the results) so that they will come back to the agency.

Whilst in-house work can also be stressful and you’ll have to keep to strict deadlines, it allows you to become fully immersed in the brand and you’ll be focused on one primary goal.

A number of large companies now also offer graduate schemes or placements within advertising, marketing and PR. Some even offer the chance to work towards a professional qualification throughout the course of the schemes.

Whilst a creative flair is certainly helpful in this field many roles also require you to be logical and analytical. A lot of marketing and advertising involves strategy and organisation skills, alongside the ability to analyse customer data and make decisions based on it.

The beauty of this industry having so many different roles is that you can have a rewarding and varied career. It is quite common for people to move across these industries as the core skillset is quite similar, so you’ll have a huge range of job roles that are potentially available to you!

Skills & interests needed for Advertising, marketing & PR

As this industry is so fast-paced and changing all the time with technological advances, it’s important to keep up with the industry trends and current events. In your interviews and cover letters this will help demonstrate your genuine interest in a future career within advertising, marketing and PR. Some publications that you can check out include Campaign Live, Marketing Week and PR Week.

Along a similar line, the quick changes that take place within these industries mean you have to be receptive to change and flexible with your work.

Some other soft skills that will benefit you within advertising, marketing and PR are:

- Ability to Work Under Pressure
- Analytical skills
- Creativity
- IT skills
- Research skills
- Self-Confidence
- Teamwork
- Time Management

Types of jobs in Advertising, marketing & PR

What work experience do you need for a career in Advertising, marketing & PR

A placement in a media, marketing or PR industry will be impressive on your CV and help you get a job in this industry later down the line. A number of large companies, including Marks & Spencer and P&G, offer placements and graduate schemes. However, the competition is tough and securing one can be quite difficult.

There other things that you can do to strengthen the skillset that employers in this industry typically look for across all three roles rather than just go for a marketing placement. For example, each of these roles is likely to involve writing so you could look into getting a placement in at a publication or a copywriting agency.

Organising events will help develop key skills that will help you in this industry. It involves high levels of communication, negotiation and organisation to bring it all together. If you can get involved with the creative side too that would be even better. Try sourcing an events placement, or if you’re still studying, get involved with some societies and volunteer to help organise socials.

Design skills are highly sought after, particularly within the advertising sphere. Shadowing a designer who is willing to teach you the basics of design software, or teaching yourself and then doing a little freelance work, would strengthen your CV when it comes to applying for jobs.

Useful resources

Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
Direct Marketing Association (DMA)
Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
Institute of Promotional Marketing
The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing
Marketing Agencies Association (MAA)
Public Relations and Communications Association
Market Research Society (MRS)
PR Week
Marketing Week
Campaign Live