- Different areas of marketing, PR and media sector
- Typical roles in marketing, PR and media sector
- Skills and qualifications
- Key employers
- The application process
- Marketing, PR and media sector graduate jobs and schemes
- More information
Are you creative? Do you have great empathy skills? If you want a career which has public perception at the heart of it, a career in the marketing, PR and media sector could be perfect for you.
Has this sector sparked your interest? Explore the current jobs in marketing and PR and media available to you right now. Many jobs in the sector offer both in-house and agency positions. You can find out which is for you: in-house vs agency.
The marketing, PR and media sector combines all areas of an organisation that focus on the output intended for the public to see, whether this is a product, a brand image or advertising. In this sector, you take the values and priorities that the organisation you work for has and create something for the public to see that encapsulates how the organisation wants the public to view it. Here are the areas in the marketing, PR and media sector that you could specialise in:
Public relations (PR)
Public relations (PR) is an industry devoted to building up and maintaining an image of an organisation or person within the media. Part of working in PR is dealing with public problems that your client faces. Whether this is a negative public response to some form of output or trying to get ahead of any media stories, your job is making the public perception of the event positive. Another area is monitoring the interaction that the public has with your client and coming up with strategies for increasing public awareness of the client.
The marketing department of a company is responsible for how a product looks. This is from the product’s packaging to the advertising campaign for a product’s release. Your job in marketing is understanding how the company wants to portray the product and produce marketing campaigns that fit the company and what the intended consumer responds well to.
If you’re interested in marketing, you can learn about the specialisms within the digital and media marketing industry.
The publishing industry deals with written content available to the public. This could be working with books, magazines, journals and other written media. You could edit the work, come up with strategies for marketing the work or find new work to publish.
Journalism, media, film and TV
The media, film and TV industry works with visual content available to viewers. This extends to TV and radio journalism. Other forms of journalism like newspaper and online article writing are more fitting with the publishing industry as they focus on written media.
Since the sector is so wide, there are many jobs that you can go into based on your interests and skill set. Here are some jobs available to you in the marketing, PR and media sectors:
Social media manager
Many companies need a social media presence to stay relevant in their industry. This means having a social media manager who oversees all social media content. In this role, you are the representative for the company on social media, creating content, answering users’ questions and responding to users when they interact with posts. All the content you create should fit with the marketing strategies agreed on with the marketing department and everything you post should match the tone that the company wants to convey.
Social media managers make the most of social platforms to promote the organisation you work for. You can get the picture with Instagram and Pinterest and learn the best ways to utilise these sites.
Most companies have a digital presence on a website. As a digital marketer, you curate the online experience for the customer, working with software engineers, graphic designers and interface designers to make the website look professional and relevant to the brand. You help with marketing campaigns, making sure everything is cohesive and fits with the brand that the company wants to convey. Your work may include writing reports for stakeholders on customers’ responses to products and the brand through the website and review websites.
If you’re interested in this area, you can read this overview of digital and media marketing.
Performance marketing executive
As a performance marketing executive, you work with the online platforms available to an organisation like social media, apps and websites to produce marketing campaigns. Your job includes analysing the success of previous marketing campaigns so you can understand the best way to approach new ones and then monitoring how effective the new ones are based on sales and public perception.
Performance marketing often includes some market research. If this interests you, you can read this overview of what a career in market research is.
It’s your job to build up the image of the company as portrayed to the public as a brand manager. This means having a thorough understanding of what the company does or produces, who the target demographic is and what they respond well to. You then work with many departments in the organisation to produce a cohesive brand image across all platforms and products.
Public relations (PR) officer
As a public relations officer, you are a client’s spokesperson. If the client has to speak to the media for any reason, you’re the one who does it. Your job is managing any issues that might negatively impact how the public views your client and changing the perception to something more positive. Your job often involves writing articles for publications, speaking to journalists and advising colleagues and clients on how to speak to the press if necessary.
Journalist jobs span TV, radio and written form whether this is online, in newspapers or in magazines. Your job as a journalist is to report the events that your publication is interested in as accurately as you can. The way you report on the news depends on the type of media outlet and its political leaning because different sources have different takes on current affairs. As a journalist, you are involved in researching a topic and providing some of the content that you report on. Adapting your reporting style to the organisation you’re working for helps you maintain their image.
If you’re interested in beginning your career in the sector, you can explore this guide to journalism and publishing graduate schemes and this Bright Network guide to journalism and publishing.
Copywriters write the content that you read throughout the media on a daily basis. In this role, you could write content on websites, for advertising and marketing campaigns, on leaflets and consumer guidelines and internal and external emails. As a copywriter, you adapt your writing style to the organisation you’re working for, making sure everything you produce has the same style and tone as the rest of the media and fits the brand image that the organisation wants to portray.
As a graphic designer, you create the visual media that you associate with an organisation. This could be a logo, the colour scheme for a website, any infographics that they use in marketing or for internal and external presentations and all manner of other types of design work that is needed for an organisation to promote its image and encourage either sales or increased public perception.
Whilst the jobs you can get in the marketing, PR and media industry vary, there are a number of skills that help you in most of them. Here are the skills and qualifications that you need to succeed in the sector:
- Verbal communication. Having great verbal communication skills helps you in many jobs in the marketing, HR and media sectors. In social media, you could be making video content for the company and conveying yourself well with good verbal communication helps you do this. In PR, you speak to the press. Being articulate when on camera or doing an interview improves the way your client is perceived so helps your job progression.
- Creativity. Many jobs in this sector require creativity. In marketing, you think up new advertising campaigns for a product or an organisation and producing an engaging campaign is important for the job. Copywriters need to be creative to think up original content for the company. Similarly, graphic designers have to have a creative mindset so the designs they make are eye-catching and interesting for the client and consumers.
- Written communication. Having excellent writing skills helps you succeed in many marketing, PR and media jobs. As a journalist who specialises in written media or as a copywriter, being able to write well is a staple of the work. In PR, you sometimes write for publications and having the underlying ability to write well helps with this. In social media, you produce content which potentially thousands of people read online and having the knack for writing well really helps you produce great content.
If you want to know more, you can learn about the skills you need for marketing and PR.
To work in most jobs in the marketing, PR and media sector, you need a degree. Having a degree in marketing is particularly helpful to jobs like digital marketing manager, brand manager and performance marketing manager because you gain the expertise and background knowledge that you need to work well in the sector. Even PR managers benefit from a marketing degree so you understand the inner workings of an organisation and the best way to market this to the public.
Other roles in the sector like copywriter and social media manager don’t require a degree but having one could help you in your work. Having a degree in an essay-based subject like English language or literature is preferable so you can create great long-form copy.
If you want a more hands-on approach, gaining an apprenticeship could be ideal for you. Apprenticeships are typically shorter in duration than a degree and involve working directly with an organisation rather than learning the theoretical background. If you’re interested in doing an apprenticeship instead of getting a degree, you can learn about marketing apprenticeships through the UCAS subject guides or the government apprenticeship search tool.
The qualifications relevant to the marketing, PR and media sector aren’t limited to degrees and apprenticeships. There are many professional qualifications relevant to marketing jobs. For digital marketing, performance marketing and brand roles, having a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing increases your employability and helps you develop key skills that you use in your work. If you want more information about this, you can read a guide to professional marketing qualifications.
The salaries in this sector vary based on the type of work you’re doing. Here are some salary levels that you might expect to earn when working in the marketing, HR and media sectors:
- PR. PR managers earn between £30,000 and £60,000 per year.
- Marketing. In marketing, brand managers earn between £30,000 and £60,000 per year as do performance marketing managers and digital marketing managers.
- Journalism and publishing. Journalists earn between £20,000 and £50,000 per year.
- Media, film and TV. Copywriters earn between £20,000 and £40,000 per year, as do graphic designers.
If you want more guidance, you can read this guide to marketing salary expectations.
If you want to begin your career in the sector, learn about the student jobs that help you climb the marketing and PR career ladder.
CV and cover letter
In order to get your dream job in the marketing, PR and media sectors, you need to prove to a hiring manager that you’re right for the job. You can do this by writing a great application. Often, an application requires a cover letter and a CV. If you need some help getting started with your CV, you can learn how to write a CV here.
Your CV should be tailored to the job you’re applying for. This means looking at the requirements in the job description and writing out your own educational history and work experience to match. You can include a skills section where you write about any relevant skills you’ve gained through your education and work but make sure you back it up with concrete examples of how you’ve used the skills, so a hiring manager knows that you actually have these skills and they’ve helped you.
Every cover letter you write should be unique to the job you’re applying for. Take some time to read the job description carefully and use what they’ve written in it to structure your cover letter. If they want someone who already has experience in the sector, great, prove to them why your work history qualifies you for this. Whilst it’s good to be positive about your work experience, don’t upsell yourself too much to the point that what you’re writing isn’t true. This will become obvious in the interview or if you get the job. If you need a hand getting started with your cover letter, you can learn how to write a cover letter and impress prospective employers here.
If your application is successful and a hiring manager likes the sound of you, they will offer you an interview. This is an important stage of the application process. It’s a chance for you to sell yourself to the hiring manager but also for them to sell the job to you. This is a two-way process and you should be sure that you like the job before accepting it. Having some specific questions about the job that you’re prepared to ask in the interview helps you get a feel for the work and know whether it's right for you. Whilst an interview can feel daunting, preparing yourself well makes the process a lot easier. If you need some help preparing, take this Bright Network Academy module on acing an interview.
Some more creative roles like graphic designer, copywriting and social media representative may require a portfolio. This is a collection of your previous work which you use to demonstrate your skill level and your ideas. A hiring manager will look at your portfolio alongside your CV and cover letter in the application stage and may ask you to talk through some of your design or content decisions in an interview setting.
Ready to dive into these sectors? Browse available graduate opportunities in these industries and take the first step towards your career.