New Year, New Job: How to secure a job in PR

Premier’s director of games Gareth Williams shares what he looks for in candidates looking to kick off a career in PR

What skills do you look for in candidates?

There are so many important skills needed in PR, but the key skills are personality, drive and creativity. We all have the same contacts, but the relationships we have are more important, The best in the industry are those that know what they want and reach for it, and if we can help someone achieve their goals, I know I’m going to get a team member committed to producing great work. Finally, creativity is essential at a modern agency, not just in your own ideas, but the ability to take the ideas of others and run with it. Any agency can follow traditional marketing heartbeats, but expanding those to engage new audiences through creative content is imperative.

What do you look for in a CV?

Well-structured information that tells me not just about the candidate’s work history is brilliant, but just as important is the candidate themselves. I want to know who they are and what they want to achieve. I’m more likely to consider someone with fewer employers, because commitment is important in this industry – not just to my company, but to my clients.

What’s your top tip for those looking to go into this career?

Public relations is a great career, but it’s one you shouldn’t chose lightly. If you want a career in PR, learn from the best. The games industry is lucky to be blessed with so many individuals, publishers and agencies that do a fantastic job; so don’t apply for the job with the most money – seek out people that you believe do great things, and in time, you’ll do great things, too.

Could you tell me about your best and worst job interviews?

The best interview I’ve had was with a candidate that was honest and open, while being positive about their current employer. They articulated well why they wanted this particular job, rather than just any job.

And the worst interview was with a candidate that didn’t smile, looked tired and hadn’t thought about their answers prior to the interview. If you don’t know what the job entails, it’s absolutely fine to ask, but don’t think you know it all – that won’t get you anywhere.

What was your own interview like?

I’ve always been good at interviewing, because I do my research and I’m confident, which are a couple of things you need to be good in public relations. However, it seemed to pass quite quickly, despite being interviewed by three people. I think the right answers, given after short consideration, and knowing this was the job I wanted to do, helped greatly. I was offered the job thirty minutes later.

What new skills do you envisionPRs needing in the near future?

Public relations changes all the time. In 2008, before community management really took off, that was where we needed to improve our skills in managing and engaging non-traditional contacts. A few years ago, there was anoticeableshift into broad reaching mainstream features, followed swiftly by having to have a network of contactable YouTube content creators on-hand to push coverage towards consumers engaging and consuming information on new and vastly different mediums. The people we work with to promote our clients products will always change, so the ability to adapt, be dynamic and constantly look to new forms of coverage is important as ever.

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