Beyond the classroom - why hands-on experience is so important for PR | Proactive PR - Communications that count

Beyond the classroom – why hands-on experience is so important for PR

Throughout my time at university, I often get asked the question ‘What is PR?’ To answer this, I previously turned to PowerPoint slides, lecture notes and industry standard definitions – but after completing the Proactive Pathway Programme I can now use my own experience and first-hand insight into the industry and PR role.

This is something I could not have learnt from a classroom. Work experience is a remarkable opportunity to explore the industry and its niches. It is also a great way for an individual to distinguish what they are passionate about and what career path they would like to pursue in the future. As the race for jobs becomes more competitive, work experience provides a way to stand out from the crowd and show you how committed you are to the industry. As a result of the scheme, I am now aware of the day-to-day responsibilities and activities the PR industry brings, as well as the roles and responsibilities a PR professional must fulfill.

The Pathway Programme offers hands-on experience in the industry. I, personally, sat in on client meetings, took part in new business strategies and answered telephone enquiries. Throughout my time I have built up a portfolio which contains a vast range of content including press releases, blog posts, media lists, coverage reports, case studies and research.

Work experience is a great way to challenge yourself and test your skills, while acquiring new ones. Not only have I enhanced my writing skills, communication skills and team building skills, I have also improved professional qualities such as time management, multitasking, flexibility and reliability.

Reputation is at the heart of the industry of Public Relations. In the past six-months I have learnt not only how to build and manage my own personal reputation, but also to uphold the reputation of Proactive PR and its clients. As an industry which relies on word-of-mouth recommendations, work experience is a great way to get your name out there. It can not only potentially kick-start your career within the organisation, it could also open doors further afield.

Reflecting back on the past six-months, the programme has proved to be an educational and rewarding experience. As a third-year student, it has prepared me for the world of PR which I will soon optimistically enter. I cannot thank the team at Proactive PR enough for giving me this opportunity and for making me feel a part of the organisation since day one. Based on my own experience, I cannot recommend work experience enough. It has not only shaped me as an aspiring professional, but also as an individual.

This blog was written by Proactive Pathway student Callie Sowerby, from the University of Lincoln

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