So You Want to Work in PR: A Guide

Public relations has evolved over the years. When I started the business 24 years ago, it was very much about getting clients’ products placed on high-ranking TV shows, dressing, celebrities, and figuring out, smart, pitches to intrigue journalists and catch the eye of the ever-competitive magazine page. Today it’s much different. Influencers, big and small demand hefty fees for the production of content, including products with the intention click through click through and Instagram sales. Magazines are few and far between, and many of the editorials are paid or advertorial. Social media is the new TV, and exactly what moves a product off a shelf is an ever-moving target.  What hasn’t changed, is the purpose of public relations. To create and communicate a powerful story and get it across the eyeballs of just the right people remains the goal. KPI’s could be sales, or brand awareness, just as always. PR is a sales profession.

My journey to PR was not a linear path. I was working in Fashion and went to Business school. I was great at selling things, and always loved merchandising and creating, but I also enjoyed economics, and once I learned how to read a profit and loss statement I was well on my path to entrepreneur. I started Faulhaber with a laptop in my kitchen and a couple of retail brands to start. Word of my marketing-minded approach, out-of-the-box ideas and reach travelled fast and I soon found myself with staff and a client roster. Today I run the business as Founder & CEO and the talented Lexi Pathak runs the day-to-day in her role as President and Partner. 

 PR is not a simple thing. Getting traction that motivates people t act needs a multi-prong approach. At Faulhaber, we support all of our traditional PR initiatives like media relations and events, with digital, social media and loads of creative tactics. 

I think it’s important to Explore different avenues so you really do know what you want and also what you don’t want. 

Volunteer for things outside your comfort zone, work on a project or client that you wouldn’t normally choose. You never know what kind of magic will happen if you do. 

The essential skills and qualities required for a successful career in PR include obviousness, such as communication, relationship-building, and adaptability. Add in soft skills like networking expertise, relationship building and the ability to create a polished presentation and you will have a good shot at success. Layer in hard skills like a tandem education in another sector, alternate languages, story editing, video production, or copywriting and you are a golden candidate.  

When looking for PR job opportunities in Canada there are lots of resources at your disposal. Schools have lists of possible employers and on LinkedIn, you can access a never-ending amount of search possibilities. I highly recommend informational interviews with prospective businesses you are interested in. Leaders are often mentors and love to provide guidance.