‘PR, so that’s like marketing, right?’ A familiar question that can still be a challenge to answer in a satisfactory way that conveys everything that the PR profession involves. PR seems to be shrouded in a certain amount of mystery, making it difficult for those outside the industry to understand how it works. Unfortunately, this means that unless you’re in a room with someone who can explain what working in PR involves, it might be a career that you don’t even consider as an option.
Mentorship programmes can uncloak some of the mystery. Having had the advantage of being able to ask these questions of other people early on in my career, I wanted to share my own insight of working in PR in the hope of making it a more accessible career path to someone trying to decipher their options.
UWE Bristol’s Equity mentoring scheme is aimed at students from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds. Through the scheme mentees receive practical support in accessing opportunities once they’ve graduated and can get insight on the various job roles, organisations, career paths and opportunities available to them.
By being a mentor I have, hopefully, been able to shed some light on the different roles and specialisms within PR agencies, the skills that the job requires and that will be honed in this profession, and provided some insight into what a career in PR could like look for someone who otherwise might not have been able to imagine themselves in this industry.
To open PR up as a potential career to young people who may not have considered it as an option, we’re also working with our charity partner Ablaze Bristol, an independent charity tackling inequality of opportunity for young people in the West of England, on its Career Mentoring programme. The programme helps Year 10 students to raise their career aspirations, pursue their interests, and make actionable plans for the world of work.
Through sharing their own career paths, mentors can help students identify their aspirations and long-term goals, as well as develop their confidence and communication skills, to get them excited about the potential career options available to them.
Participating in UWE Bristol’s Equity mentoring scheme has highlighted to me just how important it is to have someone who’s able and willing to answer the questions that will help you decide whether a career could be the right fit for you. I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to be this person for someone else and help unlock some of the mystery of PR.
Hannah Holmes, Account Manager