So, Sarah, what is it that you actually do?
The dreaded question. I should be used to answering this one by now, but I always find it difficult.
The next question is inevitably, what did you study?
French and Politics, I say, adding to the confusion. Then a Masters in Translation and Interpreting.
My colleagues have similar backgrounds in the Humanities field, having studied Spanish, Linguistics, History, Philosophy, and Human Rights.
How did I get here? Like many others, I found myself working in Public Relations & Marketing by accident. I am not alone. A survey by Marketing Week found that over half of responding marketers (53.8%) had not studied a marketing-related academic or professional qualification of any kind.
I certainly worried about my lack of academic credentials to start with. I remember asking my team director what I should read to better understand the profession. She said, you’ll learn through doing.
That is because, if you have the right skill and gain sufficient experience, you can thrive as a marketer.
This is not to say you shouldn’t study a course related to PR or marketing. However, if you have the required skills, a lack of academic qualifications won’t hold you back.
So what are these skills?
Our specialism is content marketing, so the ability to write – and write well – is key. Excellent writers are harder to find than you might think, so if this is you and you’re not sure which industry you’re interested in, you’d be highly valued in a marketing firm.
I love the advice from this blog, which says: A Bachelor’s degree in PR is right for you if you are organised with an investigative spirit. It pretty much sums us up! We manage multiple clients in a range of industries, and we’re always learning about new topics. We find ourselves writing about smart cities, connected medical devices, bowel health or asset finance – to choose from a broad range of topics we’ve covered over the years!
And last, but certainly not least, you need great communications skills. Communication is the core of what we do, whether representing our client’s brands, or managing clients’ needs and expectations. Strong communication skills, along with tenacity, quick thinking, and creativity – with a strong dash of common sense – will take you a long way!
For more about working in marketing, download our comprehensive guide to the industry here.