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Are you looking to start a new career in Public Relations and wondering where to begin with figuring out what you want out of it, and potentially even what PR is? We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to working in PR, starting with what the different forms of PR work are and what PR work looks like in c3, then taking a look at the different roles there are in PR, what tools PR teams use and finally, how you can go about getting yourself a role in a PR team.

What is PR work?

Public Relations, or PR, comes down to promoting a brand and protecting its reputation. You shape their outer image and push campaigns to the public that promote their tone of voice, their values, and their products. They push these campaigns through traditional and virtual media, like newspapers, radio, television, and social media, as well as blogs and vlogs.

PR uses these outlets as it allows brands to build relationships with their audiences and client base, as trusted news outlets tend to be viewed by the public as credible sources, giving your clients a trusted base on which to promote themselves.

Behind these campaigns goes a lot of work; research of trends, keywords, and strategy, as well as writing campaigns, pushing these out to carefully crafted lists of journalists and the members of the media industry, and then following up on these campaigns and monitoring them for results to present to your clients.

Public relations work can come in three forms – in-house, agency or freelance. In-house PR will involve working for one client and promoting their work, as well as working on the protective side of things too. Agency work, similar to freelance work, will involve working for multiple clients and managing multiple campaigns at once.

Agency work will see you working alongside a wider team of professionals, possibly data teams, social media teams and content teams to come up with your content, while freelancers likely have to balance multiple roles and responsibilities at once.

Whichever form of PR you fall under, there are a variety of roles that you could undertake, and different scales of progression that you could work towards.

What careers are there in PR?

There are different avenues you can follow within the umbrella category of PR roles – social media specific, traditional media-specific, content creation and management. We also have an international PR team that deals with clients across Europe and America, as we are lucky enough to have many team members who are multilingual, with team members who can speak German, Norwegian, Italian, and Spanish, to name a few, and you can find out more about this in the international section of our website.

Within c3, our digital PR team has a set structure of progression that goes:

PR Executive > Senior PR Executive > PR Strategist > Senior PR Strategist > Head of PR

Here’s a breakdown of each of those roles and their different responsibilities to give you a clear overview of what would be expected of you at each level.

PR Executive

Starting out, either as a graduate or as a new member of the PR community, you’ll likely start as a PR Executive or in a similar Junior PR role. The responsibilities for this role include:

  • Building relationships with journalists and key media outlets across a variety of niches
  • Time management, including the delivery of work to meet deadlines
  • Press release writing
  • Outreaching PR campaigns for backlinks
  • Creative ideation for clients
  • Collaboration with internal teams and client teams to improve results
  • Maintain active social media profiles

Senior PR Executive

Stepping up to the next level is the Senior PR Executive role – this role has a lot of the same responsibilities as the junior role, but over time you’ll have honed your craft and will be able to interact more with clients and help to lead campaigns that you come up with. Our Senior Digital PR Executive position requires:

  • Understanding of client’s challenges and competitor activity
  • A deeper understanding of your client KPIs and overall account strategy
  • Keeping up to date with the news and industry changes, including spotting proactive and reactive opportunities
  • Helping to lead campaigns, including data and audience research/analysis
  • Collaboration with internal teams and client teams to improve results
  • Helping to train and support junior members of the team

PR Strategist

The step up from PR Executives to PR Strategists is significant – the role changes from a focus on writing campaigns to a focus on the strategy for your clients and more technical work involving creative strategy. The role includes responsibilities such as:

  • Leading key client’s digital off-site strategies
  • Planning budgets and resources for campaign activity
  • Presenting strategies to clients and key stakeholders
  • Understanding the client’s challenges and competitor activity
  • Data and audience research
  • Sourcing and briefing third parties, including designers and developers
  • Building relationships with journalists and key media outlets across a variety of niches

Senior PR Strategist

There is another significant step up from PR Strategist to Senior PR Strategist – this involves running your own team of people and managing clients on your own. Alongside the usual responsibilities of campaign creation, you’ll also be expected to report on your campaign results and work much more closely with clients as a senior member of the PR team.

  • Support the Head of PR
  • Manage your team of PR Executives and Strategists
  • Creation of client KPIs and account strategy
  • Leading campaigns and providing full reports of results to your clients
  • Helping to train and support junior members of the team

Head of PR

One of the top positions at c3 is the role of Head of PR. This role as the head of a department involves a lot more people management and spreading yourself over more campaigns in a supportive role rather than dedicating your time to one or two clients.

  • Managing the PR team members
  • Support all company campaigns
  • New business research and finding new clients
  • Managing team performance and KPIs
  • Running your own accounts and clients

How does PR work?

We’ve got a lot of information in those job descriptions that might not make all that much sense – after all, to the uninitiated, what does campaign reporting or campaign ideation even mean? Here’s a breakdown of the process that our PR team go through with each of our clients:


Coming up with campaign ideas is one of the most exciting and creative parts of PR work. This process normally involves a lot of collaboration both across the PR team and even other teams in your business to come up with ideas that will work for your current clients and potential future clients. Once you have a long list of ideas to work from, you can handpick the ideas that are most applicable and begin the research phase.

Data research/content creation

This part of the process is when you take your chosen idea and begin to find data to make your campaign interesting and newsworthy. This could involve reaching out to data collectors or even conducting your own research to get this data. Once you have all of the information you will need for your campaign, you can create your campaign assets, including any written or designed content. Now your campaign is ready to be sent out into the world!

Media outreach and research

Finding exactly the right publications and journalists who will be interested in your campaign is a really important step in this process – after all, if no one picks up your campaign then the results will be poor! Researching journalists and publications before you reach out will be invaluable, as you’ll make sure it lands in exactly the right inbox for it to take off. You will begin sending out your campaigns and keeping in touch with journalists to encourage them to share your campaign.

Report on and track campaign results

Once your campaign has gone out into the world, you’ll have to keep track of which publications share it, how many views it’s getting and whether the campaign has had any impact on your client’s business. Reporting these results back to the client (or your management team) is important, as it will let them know how well you’re doing.

Re-angling older campaigns

It’s important to remember that previous campaigns are never really finished – it’s always possible to revive an older campaign if it becomes newsworthy again, or if you can find a way to reangle it to make it work with current trends.

What tools do PR teams use?

To get great results on your PR campaigns and to ensure that the work process we’ve just gone through can go as smoothly as possible, we use a variety of online and downloadable tools. Here are some insights to help you get familiar with some of the different industry tools you’ll come across. There are several tools you can use depending on where you work, but most of them work in the same way.

We’ve separated them into three categories; campaign tools help you to manage and run campaigns, media tools help you to connect with journalists for the outreach of your campaigns, and SEO/trend tools help you to research different ideas for campaigns you could create in the future.

Campaign tools

With Buzzstream, you can launch and monitor outreach campaigns. The platform allows you to upload media lists, create and edit templates, and quickly send emails without having to manually send them one at a time.

You can manage and monitor influencer marketing campaigns using Hypeauditor, an AI-powered analytics and discovery tool. Additionally, you can use it to gather data and metrics about influencers across various social media platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch.

Media tools

Among the best tools for reactive PR is ResponseSource, a sort of email subscription service that connects experts, PR professionals, and journalists. PRs can use this tool to send out their own requests for campaign support, such as expert commentary, besides responding to requests to promote their clients.

Using Vuelio is essential for building media lists and for outreach since it is essentially a public database of all sorts of media contacts from all over the world. You’ll especially benefit from this if you cannot find the journalist’s email on their website or in their Twitter bio.

SEO/Research tools

The Google Trends tool allows you to examine and analyse search trends over a period of time for a particular term or keyword. PR pros can use this as their source of data or boost the relevance of an existing piece.

Ahrefs, which is considered an all-in-one SEO toolkit, is a popular piece of software that we use across a variety of teams at C3. The tools available on Ahrefs include a site explorer, content explorer, keyword explorer, rank tracker, and link intersect.

With, you can find autocomplete keyword suggestions for popular search engines like Google, Amazon, and YouTube. There is no doubt that this tool is incredibly versatile, as it can be used by a variety of teams in digital marketing, including PR teams.

How to get into PR

While a degree in PR or media relations is a great way to prepare yourself for a role in PR and make yourself a great candidate for PR roles, it’s not the only way you can get into a role in PR! Here are some ways you can work towards a career in PR, and have some great examples to show in your CV when you do apply for any PR jobs:

  • Keep up to date on news and trends – be aware of some of the big news items that are trending when you go for an interview/apply for a role. This is a great way to show that you have a finger on the pulse for trending topics and can come up with strong campaign ideas.
  • Showcasing your writing capabilities e.g., start a blog, freelance for some magazines/newspapers/student journals – strong writing abilities are key for working in PR.
  • Demonstrate initiative – being able to show that you can step up when a member of your team is incapacitated will stand you in good stead to step up to help on campaigns that need extra help.
  • Showcase your creativity – whether you love creative hobbies or can showcase any creative projects you’ve been a part of, you’ll show any prospective employers that you can think outside the box and create unique ideas.

A career in PR is a great starting point for creative people with a vision to create projects that they want to shout about loud and proud – if you think that PR could be the right career for you, start working on your progression today!

For more information on what it’s like working in PR, make sure you check out our PR starter pack.

If you’d like to speak to any of our PR team about anything we’ve covered in our guide, you can get in touch with us to chat some more. You can also find all of the roles that we are currently looking for in the careers section of our website.