Journey to Work in Marketing

A video following an individual gaining experience and seeking employment in Marketing.

What is Public Relations??
Skills

Many workplace skills are relevant to a variety of roles and sectors, but we have picked out a few that are specific to the work involved in PR & Marketing.

  • Team-work
  • Confidence
  • Corporate Communication
  • Social Media
  • Digital Strategy
  • Writing
  • Market Research
  • Sales
  • Google Analytics
  • Advertising
  • Web Analytics
  • Data Analysis
  • Foreign Languages
The Red Rocket PR Blog
Social media feed
Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)

The Institute have a professional membership service, provide training and qualifications, and are an excellent source of news and networking. 

You can find their website here.

Chartered Institute of Marketing Webinars
Job Sites

If you would like to start a job search or find more information about PR & Marketing careers, take a look at the links below.

Still Not Sure?

If you're still not sure about which sector you want to go into, you can find our other Careers Portfolios below.

PR & Marketing

We are communicating all the key messages from a brand into print media, TV, broadcast radio, online...everything.

Nikki Hardy, Account Executive at Dangling Carrot

Source: Careerplayer PR Overview

Sub sectors

The distinction between PR and Marketing is often confusing, so below is some additional information about each to help make their differences clear and to inform your job search.

Please click on the drop down tabs below.

Public Relations involves communicating the reputation of an organization to employees or the external world, and promoting it positively.

It can essentially encompass anything that involves maintaining or managing the reputation of an organisation and its relations with the public.

Often, those who work in PR are based in an agency setting and work with external clients to develop PR campaigns on a short or long term basis. Working in an agency affords a huge variety in campaigns, and often multiple clients at once, so is great for you if you enjoy a fast paced and varied work environment.

Working in-house involves working for a specific company or organisation, often on a single campaign at a time, so is potentially more secure and can lead to promotion within the company, but is less varied than an agency role.

Working in PR can also involve specialising in a specific area or topic. These can include Corporate, Financial, Healthcare, Crisis PR and Consumer-focused work. There is also a distinction between business to business (known as B2B) and business to consumer (known as B2C) roles.

PR can also involve running events as part of campaigns, speaking to the media in external focused roles, and liaising with employees in internal focused work to keep them updated about changes to the business and how they may affect them.

PR is used in a vast array of different settings, so you could work for a company, a charity, a part of the public sector such as a school or university, or in government. The pathway can lead you to many places, so it is entirely up to you in which area you would like to work.

It can be confusing to try to understand the distinction between PR and Marketing roles. Essentially, Marketing is a more customer focused role that involves understanding and interpreting consumer behaviour and using that information to promote products or services. Creating and building strong customer relations is the foundation of Marketing.

As such, roles often involve market research with a focus on analysing information and statistics. Running surveys and compiling data in order to define customer profiles are also essential skills.

There are a variety of specialist roles within Marketing.

  • Creative roles – these often deal with working out how to communicate with customers, including what kind of advertising/pictures/stimuli/music to use
  • Product Development – this involves working out what the products or services will look like, and how to market this
  • Brand Management – this role deals with establishing a strong identity for a brand, including what the brand stands for, and ensuring that everyone who works for the company lives and breathes the ethos
  • Event Marketing – this involves developing and delivering events, often for external clients or partners
  • Sports Managers – these roles involve looking after athletes and managing their brand and marketing
  • Culture Managers – these individuals work within the film/music/fashion/art industries, and work with opinion leaders including celebrities and well-known figures to establish brand deals and influence consumers
  • Charity – working in a marketing role in a charity often involves longer campaign time scales, and is focused on ensuring that campaigns are delivered well, that their messages make sense to the public and are received well, and that stigma is not increased around vulnerable people or causes that the charity may be representing or supporting.

Training & qualifications

There are a variety of different qualifications and training opportunities available within the PR and Marketing sector. Depending on what role you are looking for, employers may require differing levels of qualifications.

Below are just some of the examples of training you can pursue to make your CV stand out.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations run a variety of courses which are excellent additions to your CV.

  • Introduction to PR – this is a two-day course, which gives you a solid grounding in practical Public Relations practices. It introduces you to a range of communications tools and techniques, as well as practical exercises. It is designed for anyone who is new to PR or has been working in the field for only a short time
  • Effective Media Relations – this is a one-day course that introduces you to today’s media landscape and shows you how to navigate it, including pitching to journalists, the workings of a press office, and why PR roles involve working with the media.
  • Change Communication – this one-day course gives you practical guidance on communicating change to internal audiences, so is designed for PR roles that are internal focused. 

Individual Training Courses – there are over 90 courses available through CIM, taught by quality assured experts and designed to build your confidence and skills within marketing professional roles.

Qualifications – they also run courses for foundation certificates, a Diploma in Professional Marketing, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing, as well as a Leadership Programme.

See their website for more details on available courses.

Google offers a professional accreditation to individuals who demonstrate proficiency in basic and advanced aspects of AdWords, the advertising mechanisms of google searches online.

It shows that google recognises you as an expert in online advertising, and is an excellent bonus to have on your CV.

You can also specialise in Search, Display, Mobile, Video or Shopping, which could be very useful when applying for specialist roles or at specific agencies or clients. 

More information can be found on the google webpages here


Modules

Your choice of modules during your degree is an excellent opportunity to build specific skills and knowledge that will aid you in your career path in PR & Marketing.

Many of the modules on offer in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies will involve learning about media and public policy which will be relevant to jobs in the field. If there are specific areas in which you'd like to specialise, it is also worth finding related modules so that you can demonstrate an existing understanding of the role.

Below are a selection of modules within the SSIS departments you may want to consider taking in order to develop these skills.

  • POL1008 Introduction to Social Data
  • POL2026 Political Analysis: Behaviour, Institutions, Ideas
  • POL2060 Public Policy and Administration
  • POL2078 Governing the Public Sector: Beaureacratic Power and Politics
  • POL2079 Contemporary Public Debate in an Age of 'Anti-Politics'
  • POL1041/B Data Analysis in Social Science
  • POL2077 Data Analysis in Social Science II
  • POL2094 Data Analysis in Social Science III
  • POL3094 Data Analysis in Social Science III
  • POL3081 Markets, regulation and Europeanization
  • POL3172 Political Participation
  • POL3194 Rethinking the Politics of Communities

Postgraduate study

Postgraduate courses may give you the edge over other candidates without them, but it may be a better use of your time to get first-hand experience in the industry through internships or placements. 

If you are considering further study, you can search for available Masters qualifications at findamasters.com.


Internships

Internships are central to the hiring process in the PR & Marketing fields. Undertaking an internship with a company you are interested in could easily be the path into a permanent role, so it is worth doing your research and contacting those you are interested in to enquire about possible vacancies. 

For an example of an Exeter student whose experience interning at a marketing agency led to a graduate role in the same company, you can read about Anna Gibbon's experience with ClickHub on the Career Zone blog here

You can search for an internship opportunity on any of the job sites listed in the right hand side bar, or contact individual agencies directly, which often shows initiative that is appreciated in the fast-paced sector. 


Extra-curricular Experience

Extra-curricular activities are hugely important to any job search, and can really make you stand out in comparison to other graduates. 

There are many opportunities to gain extra experience during your time at university, but below are some examples of things you could consider. 

We have split this into Student's Guild opportunities and Volunteering, and have highlighted some of the options that are most relevant to PR & Marketing. This is by no means an exaustive list, so if you have something specific in mind you can do your own research on the Guild website or online.

Joining societies and getting involved with the Student’s Guild activities is a fantastic opportunity to gain experience for your CV and show your dedication to your chosen field or career path.

Below is a list of some Societies or student groups that you might consider joining in order to give your skill set a boost and make yourself stand out from the crowd.

  • Management and Marketing Society – provides support to help students in their professional career.
  • Exeposé – writing skills, as many junior roles are mostly writing/crafting content – proofreading, attention to detail.
  • Xpression FM – media experience, creating content, communication skills.

There are also likely to be publicity or marketing roles in most society committees, so if you have a particular passion outside of PR and Marketing then taking up such a role within that specific society is another excellent option to develop your marketing skills. 

Similarly, volunteering roles that related specifically to marketing or PR will likely be offered by individual charities.

You can also take a look at the Exeter Student Volunteer pages to see if there are any specific causes that you are especially passionate about, in order to get involved with those campaigns in a publicity or PR and Marketing role.

Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to also add general skills to your application, and may ensure you stand out from the crowd if you have similar professional qualifications to another candidate. You can develop valuable communications, creative and people skills in any role while volunteering, so make sure to do your own research and find something that you want to get involved with. Having volunteering on your CV will only ever benefit an application.

Dan Pritchard, Managing Director at Astley Media

 

Watch our interview with Dan Pritchard, managing director of Astley Media, a local PR and Design Agency.

We ask him about:

  • How he got into PR & Marketing;
  • Why PR & Maketing appealed to him as a career;
  • What an average day looks like within the sector;
  • What specific skills or experience he looks for when hiring graduates;
  • key advice and first steps for students hoping to pursue a career in PR & Marketing.

My Career Zone

Below, you can find feeds of the current jobs, events and mentors available through The Career Zone that are relevant to PR & Marketing.

Click on any of the links to be taken to the specific page.