What are PR students looking for in a job?

Nowadays some companies are using Public Relations (PR) as one of the biggest tools in their marketing plans. The budget allocated to PR plans is increasing and it is important that companies hire highly skilled people to help building its reputation.

Building the immaterial assets for a company is not a simple task, it requires certain skills like being empathetic, having the ability to multi task and having emotional intelligence. Hiring PR practitioners with a degree or master’s degree in the subject can steepen the employee’s learning curve and therefore get positive results faster as they will have more knowledge and experience in the field.

But… how to attract and retain the best talent?

According to a survey conducted in March 2014 aimed at students (undergraduates and postgraduates) enrolled to PR courses in Leeds Metropolitan University (Now Leeds Beckett University), the majority being female, with an average age of 23, these were the findings:

 

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Surprisingly, a good salary is not what graduates and postgraduates are looking for in the first place when finding a job. The most important issue for them is that the company has new and challenging projects constantly, with financial concerns an afterthought.

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PR practitioners are known to be creative, and it was shown during the research, as the next most important things for them were to work for a company that promotes creativity, having a friendly working environment and getting opportunities to travel.

The least important benefits that they look for in a company are holiday entitlement, a good retirement plan and health insurance, probably due to the age of the survey’s participants.

It is also important to look for talent in the right places. 44% percent of the students would look for a PR job directly in company or consultancy websites. 22% would do it through social media like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and the rest (26%) would look in newspapers, graduate magazines and university fairs.

According to PRCA (2011), Successful PR agencies understand their clients’ and stakeholders’ needs. This means that it is important to hire PR practitioners according to their clients, ensuring that they match and are likely to form a healthy and long term relationship.

On the other hand, Danny Moss, Professor of MA Corporate & Public Affairs said that a new generation of better educated practitioners are assuming positions of authority and bringing a greater understanding of the potential of PR into the boardroom. I think this will only be possible if all companies open their doors to new and specialised talent, and pay a reasonable salary for them to be able to commute or live close to their workplace.

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My summer songs

This week I’ve decided to share with you my five favourite songs for this summer. Some of them were not even released this year but for one reason or another I ended up listening to them and I could not get them out of my head.

The first one is Arcadia by The Kite String Tangle. I really love the vocals and everything about this song that was released in June. The album was released in August and I think I will buy it.

The second one is 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton. I don’t really like the lyrics of this very eighties song, but the melody makes me happy and it is inevitable for me to move my head and shoulders every time I listen to it.

A couple of weeks ago I woke up and had a message on Facebook from a very good friend. It only said: “Listen to this” together with a YouTube link. I heard the song and absolutely loved it although it does not make me happy to listen to it…

It became my third song and it is called Berlin by RY X, a guy from Australia.

The fourth one is called Water Fountain by Tune Yards and it is just perfect for baking cupcakes or “fairy cakes” as they’re known in the UK.

The last one is Scream from the album Caustic Love by Paolo Nutini. I just don’t know why I didn’t hear from this Scottish  man before. The whole album is amazing but I particularly like this song:

I hope you enjoy my songs as much as I do.

 

Women are dominating the PR field but not the senior roles

Although I am not European, I was given the opportunity to be part of the Women in Public Relations in Europe intensive programme that took place in Leeds Metropolitan University from the 21st of July to the 1st of August.

Students from Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany, Istanbul University, in Turkey and Leeds Metropolitan University in the UK, got together to share learning experience in regard to gender awareness in the PR field.

But… why should we be aware of gender awareness in this field?

Public Relations is a female-dominated profession. 70% of PR practitioners in Europe are female, however, men are the ones in senior roles, and I don’t think the situation is very different in Mexico, my hometown.

During two weeks we had the opportunity to listen to various PR professionals and journalists that have been in the field for a long time and have had the opportunity to be in leading roles. The majority of women said that even though they’ve made it to the top, the “glass ceiling” is still there and in certain industries it is even  “thicker”.

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I believe that society is changing and we will notice the change in the percentage of women leading in a couple of years when more part time positions are offered and are as valued as full time ones, when men staying at home to take care of their children is not seen as a bad thing, and when women become more confident of what they can do and achieve.

It is a fact that in order to get a senior position it is necessary to make personal sacrifices, but the most important thing that I learnt from this course is that being a leader is not a matter of gender but a matter of choice and personality. There are some skills that are required to be a leader like being an strategic decision-maker and problem solver, having excellent communication knowledge as well as a relevant job experience and a strong individual desire, but those are not only male skills.

On the other hand, I  strongly believe that there are some female traits that can be an advantage when taking a leading position like empathy, patience, intuition and flexibility. I know that men can also have those traits but it is easier to find them in women. Women need to plan their life and act accordingly to make things happen.

In the following video we can listen to three female PR professionals New York city-based explaining further why women are better suited for Public Relations, so, if we are, let’s make everyone else know it by leading the field and not only being part of it.