Introduction to Marketing and PR
Marketing and PR focus on presenting information about a company, event or person in a way designed to improve or alter their image and appeal. Closely linked, both are vital to a wide range of companies that rely on the industry to market their products and services and boost profitability and brand image.
Most companies will have a marketing and PR department, regardless of the sector. Although their roles are different, many major companies will have an integrated marketing and PR department, where the two work hand-in-hand to promote the brand, for example with press releases about new products. They also work to protect companies from negative publicity, limiting the damage done to the company’s reputation. There are also specialist marketing and PR agencies that perform the same functions but work with a number of clients across a range of sectors, as opposed to just one.
An ever-expanding industry, marketing and PR is an exciting and rewarding sector for new graduates. Encompassing fields such as advertising, design, editorial, production and digital marketing, there are a wide range of roles to choose from. You’ll also have the chance to work on a range of exciting and interesting projects and with a number of different clients and sectors - from sports shoes to sandwiches.
What roles are open to me?
If you’re keen on a career in marketing and PR, there are a range of roles on offer.
- Marketing Assistant
- Marketing Communications Coordinator
- Marketing Manager
- PR Assistant
- PR Specialist
- PR Manager
- Communications Manager
- Marketing Executive
- Digital Marketing Specialist
- Marketing Copywriter
- Creative Director
- Head of Marketing
Major marketing, advertising and PR agencies include Ogilvy & Mather, Saatchi and Saatchi, AMV BBDO, BD Network, Brunswick Group, Freuds, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, MSLGroup, McCann London, We Are Social, Sapient Nitro, Britannia Communications, 72andSunny and Razorfish.
What qualifications and skills do I need?
Generally you will need a good degree in any discipline, although some companies do prefer a degree in a marketing-related subject. In addition to your degree, you’ll need to display key skills such as communication and organisational skills, teamwork, creativity, excellent time management, presentation skills and a real passion for the company and brand. Related work experience, such as an internship, will also be an advantage.
Marketing and PR is a great choice for school leaves and there are many entry-level roles available, as well as internships in a range of fields including customer service, event sales and sales and marketing. As with graduates, you’ll need to demonstrate a range of qualities to support your application, including organisational skills, good time management, commercial thinking and the ability to work well in a team. Relevant work experience will also be looked on favourably.
Many companies will give you the opportunity to undertake courses in relevant subjects throughout your career and as part of graduate training schemes, to ensure you keep up-to-date with new developments in the industry. Your company may also offer support if you wish to study a professional marketing qualification through bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) or the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM).
The application process depends on the role and company you apply for, but should follow some or all of the steps below:
- Online application form
- Initial telephone interview
- Face-to-face interview - this may involve showing a portfolio of work or undertaking a writing or design test, depending on the role you’re applying for
The average starting salary is £16,000 - £23,000 per year. This will increase with experience and training, averaging £25,000 - £32,000 after a few years. As you progress to a senior level, your salary will often increase significantly, with PR Directors earning upwards of £70,000. Generally, specialist marketing and PR agencies will pay more than internal marketing and PR departments.
Are there any downsides?
Although generally a 9am - 5pm role, you may have to work evenings and weekends if you have a big deadline or a client event. As a results-driven industry, the workload can be heavy and stressful, especially when working on major or integrated campaigns that involve the delivery of lots of different elements. You may also have to liaise with demanding clients and spend a lot of time travelling between client offices.
Is it right for me?
A career in marketing and PR can be a dynamic and exciting choice. If you’re keen on a role that combines your creative, communication and organisational skills and allows you to see the direct impact your work has on the reputation and profits of your company or client, it could be the perfect choice for you. Visit our Marketing and PR forum to find out more.