As part of the series, we asked PR Rising Stars about the lasting change that they would like to make in the PR industry.
If you could make a lasting change in the PR industry, what would it be?
Niamh Waters - Head of PR at VROOM Digital
I’d like to see a bigger focus on promoting the industry and explaining what different PR roles entail, as I think this is something that could definitely increase the appetite for school-leavers choosing PR as a future career.
At the moment I think there are out of date perceptions of PR. I believe that there is an opportunity to shine more of a light on digital PR and the amazing career path that it can take people on – especially those that have a love for combining traditional PR methods with data-driven campaigns.
I’d also like to see the world of influencer marketing become less exclusive. I think it’s so important to work with people who have all types of followers and engagement numbers. Not just those who have an extremely large online presence. Some of the best campaigns we have worked on in VROOM Digital have been done by collaborating with micro-influencers.
Joanne O’Sullivan - Senior Consultant at Murray Consultants
Some of the most valuable skills I’ve gained in my PR career have come from working with talented and generous people. I think industries like PR can get a name for being competitive and demanding, and while there’s definitely challenges to the job I’ve found the relationships I’ve built with colleagues, clients and media to be one of the most rewarding and enlightening parts of the industry. I’d love to see that culture of support and collaboration become common practice across the whole industry, because it leads to better outcomes as well as more motivated people.
Emily Brennan - Account Director at Alice PR & Events
I would like to contribute to PR having less of a bad rap. At Alice PR, our work is underpinned by a strong belief in the power of communications to effect positive social change. This desire to have a positive impact influences our decisions as a company, and we’re very proud of the work we do. More diversity in the industry would also be a positive change I would like to influence and contribute to.
Dorothy Murphy - Publicist at Mission PR & Communications
Over the last few years the advertising, marketing and communications industries have really opened their eyes to equality, diversity and inclusion issues. I have always approached my work with these in mind, and I hope that by continuing to bring these issues to the table with a genuine motive and sensitivity we will all continue to move towards lasting change – not just in regards to the campaigns themselves but developing careers and the creative output.
Beckie Jordan - Account Executive at FOUR Agency
Talking negatively about each other, whether that be about campaigns or agencies. The PR industry is very competitive and we all want our clients to be in the news, making the good headlines, giving quotes to top tier publications and putting on fantastic events.
However, I sometimes think there can be a lot of slating of each other. That’s definitely the one thing I’d change! We should all celebrate each other’s successes.
Lewis Oakley - Senior Client Manager at Milk & Honey PR
I would love to make Public Relations a more diverse industry. Not just in the traditional sense, but recruiting and crucially retaining people of every diversity. Then utilising that talent to diversify everything we can do as an industry and everything we can achieve.
Sophie Drake - Director at Story Comms
Talent with a focus on diversity and inclusion. The sector is doing great things to make our industry more open to talent and those that may not have previously had the opportunity to progress a career in PR, but there’s still work to be done. We’re founding supporters of Socially Mobile for that very reason, and are investing heavily in working with universities, youth organisations and whoever possible to try and open up more opportunities – not just for those with degrees.
I’d also like to have a lasting impact on education. Less so the industry, but the way it’s taught would better equip future talent with the right skills. Much of PR’s academic teaching is around theory, campaigns and planning – and while that’s all so valuable, the biggest gap we see in the talent coming through is the ability to do the basic stuff like writing releases and reporting etc. Teaching these basic PR skills should be integral to its academic teaching.
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