PR graduate 2.0

28 Apr

Let’s pull some threads together. There are PR students who blog, gain new skills and make a career breakthrough. There are practitioners who blog and who take on these students, though they’re sometimes critical of their skills (see previous post). Then there are PR lecturers who blog: we’re all learning as well as teaching (passim).

Now there’s a student-run website about social media, PR careers and development (I’m proud to be a contributor). But let’s not forget that UK PR students got there first with a handsome magazine, Behind the Spin (now also a blog).

The new edition of Behind the Spin is on its way. Edited by Kevin Overbury at Sunderland, this issue looks at the skills needed to succeed in ‘the new PR’. Read Philip Young’s editorial at Mediations.

Here’s my contribution – an impossible job description for the ‘perfect PR graduate’:

PR graduate 2.0
A Brilliant Consultancy (ABC) seeks an ambitious self-starter to work with a great and growing list of clients.
You will be:
  • A sociable individualist. You have a strong network of friends, colleagues and contacts and can talk to anyone. Yet you know your own mind, have strong principles, and don’t mind going out on a limb or causing offence when necessary.
  • Forward-looking, yet analytical. You understand where we’ve come from: business, media, politics, society. But you have a view on where we’re going and what’s needed to get there.
  • An argumentative peacemaker. You can engage in debate, and see both sides quickly. Yet you know how to achieve consensus.
  • A reflective activist. You love thinking. And you love doing.
  • Flexible. You’re equally at home working in London, New York or Hong Kong.

You will have:

  • A good degree in any discipline. I’m more interested in your ability to continue learning than in what you’ve already learnt.
  • A demonstrable passion for success. This can be sporting, volunteering, commercial. (It doesn’t count that you love clubbing and going to the gym.)
  • Skills, knowledge, enthusiasm. For technology, food, cars, fashion, languages. Do you love life and do you live it to the full?

You will get:

  • Hard work, long hours, poor pay
  • Great colleagues and great prospects
  • The best training programme in the world

Still interested? Tell me in 500 words why you think your face fits. No, don’t bother. I already know about you from Google and Technorati. I’m impressed.

2 Responses to “PR graduate 2.0”

  1. Luke 01/05/2006 at 2:48 am #

    Richard,
    Excellent post. Hat tip to Erin for pointing to it on Forward. I’ve been dealing with some disgruntled education vs. real-world thoughts of my own. I even sent a comment to The Hobson and Holtz Report about it. Your job description made me wish that posting really existed. I would rise to the challenge – or feel that I already have.

  2. Richard Bailey 01/05/2006 at 9:07 am #

    Thanks, Luke. I heard you on For Immediate Release and thought your observations on PR education were spot on. I responded to Neville making the distinction between educators and academics (the one isn’t necessarily the same as the other and vice versa). Employers are indeed demanding, but then I’ve never known an undemanding PR role (see discussion about lazy students at Forward…)

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