The industry – where’s it headed?
With news and information available from a range of sources outside of 'traditional' media platforms, i.e. television and newspapers, audiences have greater choice and flexibility with their media consumption than ever before. The rise of digital news, blogs and social media places significant pressure on traditional platforms to better accommodate modern consumer preferences.
Last year, Facebook more than doubled its daily video views to 8 billion, while Snapchat boasts 6 million daily video views. With video becoming the most sought-after form of content online, most businesses now incorporate it into their marketing strategies.
Tip: Brush up on your basic videography skills by shooting short videos on your smartphone and editing them on iMovie or Windows Movie Maker. These skills will become increasingly more important in the communications industry.
The ability to influence and engage stakeholders – e.g., customers, media, employees, shareholders, community groups, government and regulators to name a few – is fundamental to the success of any organisation. Which is good news, as it means that communications positions will continue to be in-demand for the foreseeable future.
Naturally, however, this will vary by industry. There may be fewer jobs for PR professionals in manufacturing over the next few years, in line with the decline in the industry, but more in growth sectors, like information technology. Generally, PR is a highly adaptable skill and people operate across a range of industry sectors in their careers, either in-house or within an agency.
An area that is growing faster than any other in PR is social media. 10 years ago you would have struggled to find many social media manager jobs, however these days it’s difficult to find an organisation without one. Gaining key skills in social media management, such as channel management, content curation, analytics and social media advertising will increase your chances of nabbing your dream job.
Tip: To receive all the latest job offerings on a daily basis via email, create a SEEK profile.
Getting your foot in the door
Experience is vital. If you are keen to get into the industry, volunteering your PR knowledge and skills for your local sporting club or community group will help to develop your skills and make your CV stand out.
Connecting with an experienced professional is an excellent way to gain Industry knowledge and build contacts. It may be someone you know, a more senior colleague at your job, or a contact you meet through an organisation like the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA).
Tip: Sign up for a PRelationship with PRIA to receive information on and discounts for PRIA activities, access the website and connect with people in the industry.
Observe the world around you. There are PR campaigns and tactics everywhere you look! Think about how you may have run specific campaigns differently or what messaging or channels you might select. Note the kind of stories that gain traction on news sites or trend on social media. This will give you insight into what stories audiences like to read and how you may be able to pitch your own communications.