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Starting a career in communications

As a career, communications can offer a wide range of exciting opportunities to aspiring professionals. Whether you hope to specialise in consumer PR, corporate PR, public affairs, social media, crisis management or any other particular pillar of communications, or in any specific sector, this career path can expose you to a wide variety of interesting topics and people.

Benefits of a career in PR

Whether working in a public relations agency or in an in-house role, a career in PR offers an exciting, fast-paced and multi-faceted working experience, where you will be operating at the forefront of media and political circles while working to promote and protect the reputation of your clients or organisation.

As a young public relations professional, I can attest to the wide array of skills and knowledge that can be gained working in this industry. Since I began working at Heneghan as an intern three years ago, I have gained a strong understanding of the media, our country’s political system, as well as the various sectors in which my clients operate, including agriculture, technology, energy, and health. The lessons I have learned from working with my colleagues and clients are numerous and relate to a wide array of subjects, which I believe have served me well both professionally and personally.

Advice for aspiring PR professionals

In terms of advice for recent graduates and aspiring PR professionals, I would firstly suggest to pursue a role which you feel you will enjoy and which will allow you to develop desired skills. If there is a particular sector you are enthusiastic about, whether it is business, politics, charity, technology, or any other area, there will likely be organisations operating in it which will have an ongoing need for communications expertise.

I believe working in a PR agency is a great way to start your career, given the number of industries, scenarios, and skills which it will expose you to. This gives new professionals the best chance to develop a wide array of skills and knowledge at the early stage of their career.
Some important traits for an aspiring PR professional to have are an attention to detail, the ability to work well under pressure and manage time effectively, along with the ability to process and understand information. However, I believe that the most important traits will always be a strong work ethic and positive attitude.

When starting in a new role, listening and learning are key. By observing those around you, you will pick up some of the essential skills for a communications professional to have, and will learn what course of action works best in the different situations you face.

Communications is an essential aspect to enabling any organisation to function effectively. As we see more and more evolving channels of communication being developed, and as online news sources and social media platforms become even more popular, organisations will continue to require communications expertise to get their desired messages to their target audiences. Working in public relations represents an opportunity to take on an exciting role in a thriving industry, where no two days are the same.

 

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About the author:

Colm is a Senior Account Executive at Heneghan and supports the across a wide range of corporate clients.  Before joining the Heneghan team, Colm worked as a Marketing and Business Development Intern for a technology start-up in Dublin, helping to develop their social media strategy and produce their content across different platforms.