Degree and university: MA Corporate Communications, Kingston University of London and BA Business Administration and Marketing, American University of Beirut
Work Title: Client Executive at Burson – Marsteller, an international Public Relations consultancy.
What do you actually do? In a nutshell, PR works to influence the opinions and attitudes of consumers toward a company (and its products), by raising its profile in the media. My work falls into four main categories: strategy setting, media liaison, events management, and account administration.
Why did you decide to go into this sector? Today’s business world is driven by news. Brand reputations are ever more significant to consumers and research shows that advertising is decreasing in effectiveness. Integrated communications and strong brand reputations are now the essence of making an impact in the marketplace, hence the growing importance of corporate communications going hand in hand with marketing.
How did you find out about your particular course? It certainly started with an initial interest in PR, and a desire to pursue a master’s degree in London, knowing it is Europe’s business hub with the best opportunities to kick-start a career. Study London and UCAS were resourceful websites for a background about studying in London and course offerings. Corporate Communications was a difficult choice. It is a young and growing field, and Kingston University was the single highly regarded business school in London to offer it at master’s level.
Would you undertake further training to further your career? It goes without saying that the constant improvement of knowledge and competences is essential for any career. And in our fast developing business world, it’s crucial to keep one’s professional development aligned with the developments in the business environment. I suppose all leading companies now offer compulsive employee training, and at B-M we benefit from weekly training classes and a unique professional development opportunity through the B-M University programmes.
What do you like most about what you do and are there any downsides? I’m very happy that I get to do different kinds of work every day, hopping between systematic and strategic, administrative and analytical. But I also must say I love that funny side of PR where you start perceiving the world you know from a different angle – driving the news in the media, being behind ‘the’ events, working with high profile figures… Hot stuff!
PR is a ‘fast-lane’ sector. Information is at the heart of our work and not only is it fast-moving but could also be overwhelming. So keeping up with the pace of the game could be quite tiring, and organisation is absolutely crucial for success.
What would be your best piece of advice for graduates wishing to come into this sector? Getting into the habit of consuming media, I would say. Not only is it important to be engaged with what’s happening in the world, but it is also necessary to understand how the media works to be able to work with it.