Is PR and marketing the right career path for you?

Ellie has had an extraordinary year since graduating from the University of Winchester in 2019 and joining cybersecurity specialist éclat Marketing. From there she has had an exciting journey into public relations and marketing and worked with some of the most significant and innovative businesses in the cyber field.

Here, Ellie shares her experiences and advice for anyone else thinking of their career and whether PR and marketing would make a great option. Read below or ask her direct any questions that you have through LinkedIn.

When you finished university, were you looking for a job in PR?

Honestly, no I was not. I knew I wanted to write, and I initially considered a job in journalism, so, to gain some experience I worked at a couple of magazines as an intern. That’s when I came across PR, because I would have to sit and sift through emails from PR reps to find out what was relevant for the publication.

With my curiosity piqued, I looked into the industry and found that many PR roles incorporate a lot of what is expected of journalists; research, writing, and effectively communicating a message. Having decided that public relations sounded like a suitable career path, I started applying for jobs and that’s when I found the graduate account executive opening at éclat.

What experience did you need to get into PR?

As I was looking for an entry level role there was more of a focus on my skills and aptitude. Like most graduates, I questioned everything: Will I be good enough? Is this the right move for me? Will I know enough to get the job done? Will I even like the career path I’ve chosen? There’s an anxiety that comes with starting a new job, let alone a new career, but the answer to all my questions was a resounding YES!

I was fortunate enough to join a patient and supportive team that allowed me to take my time learning everything I needed to know about the cybersecurity industry and PR. Sure, I made mistakes, but I quickly learnt from them which proved to be an invaluable experience because I knew what not to do next time.

What can people expect when they start a career in PR as a graduate account executive?

Every day brings new challenges and a diverse range of tasks. One minute you could be writing pitches and emails and talking to journalists and clients, and the next you could be researching what would make a good topic or campaign idea. Of course, it goes without saying that you also need to be a team player and support those you’re working with in order to achieve results for your clients.

Getting stuck in means you’ll quickly build up your skills and knowledge and what you once found difficult will soon become second nature. If you demonstrate a passion for learning about PR, then you will absolutely succeed.

What would be your three pieces of advice for those looking to get into PR and marketing?

  1. Consider a specialist agency. Working at a specialist agency has allowed me to hone my knowledge about a specific industry and really get to grips with what it is I’m trying to create brand awareness on/in. Having very detailed knowledge about the cybersecurity industry gives me a greater sense of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to PR and marketing in the sector.
  2. Try a small agency. We are a team of 15 here at éclat and the size of the company has allowed me to take on responsibilities and experience opportunities I didn’t think would be available to me as a graduate account executive. For example, I have always been encouraged to come up with campaign ideas and initiatives. I also feel like my opinion is valued and heard, which I don’t think is always the case in a larger agency.
  3. If you like researching, writing, and talking then PR and marketing is for you! If you are unsure, just try it and see because I can almost guarantee you are more than good enough. And with the right team around you, you will always have the support you need to succeed.

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