Name: Cameron Hall
Degree: 2:1 (BA Hons) Media, Culture and Society, University of Birmingham
Job: PR Account Executive
What do you actually do?
Essentially I help to generate a constant stream of positive press cover for my clients. Day-to-day activities include creating press releases, arranging interviews, writing articles and responding to news stories. Primarily, I am a mediator between my clients and the press, making sure that their key messages and core company values are represented positively and fairly.
Why did you decide to go into this sector?
Whilst studying at university I got a part-time job working for the local radio station. My role was very varied, ranging from running for presenters and guests to street level marketing and event support. I wanted to be involved in an industry where I could work with people and also do something different every day. After taking a couple of years out I came back to the UK and approached a range of PR firms for work experience. After a successful placement at my current company, I was offered a full time position.
How did you find out about your particular course?
Writing to lots of universies and requesting a copy of their prospectus. I read
through each prospectus until I found a course which best reflected both my personal interests and my career goals.
Would you undertake further training to further your career?
Definitely, experience is essential and the more you can learn, the more you can
progress. I’m also very lucky to work in an industry where you can learn alot from your peers and clients alike. During my
time in PR I have worked with a whole variety of clients ranging from millionaire oil tycoons to independent ski chalets. Each of my clients have taught me something different and allowed me to develop my existing skills and practice some new ones.
What do you like most about what you do and are there any downsides?
I get a real buzz by creating a piece of coverage and seeing the final article published in the news paper or magazine. I feel a sense of personal achievement and when you place an article in the national press you know millions of people are going to be reading a story you have created. At the same time, when this has a positive response for your client and helps them as an individual or business, you can feel very satisfied. Obviously it’s not all about creating positive coverage but it’s sometimes about stopping negative press, which can be more of a challenge.
What advice would you give graduates wishing to come into this sector?
Know what is going on in the world. Read the papers, watch the news and engage with online media. Get as much work experience as you can. If you secure a work experience placement treat it as a job opportunity. Arrive early, stay late and go the extra mile. If you impress, the company may just make you an offer.