With PR jobs and internships being more and more sought after, we take a look at how our team members got their foot in the door in a highly competitive industry. Today we speak to Senior Account Executive, Amanda Spence, who has been with Avant PR for just over a year:
How did you first get into PR? I was nearing the end of my University degree and really wanted to move to London but didn’t have a clue at what I wanted to do! My housemate did a degree in PR and she sat down with me and told me I had great communication skills and that it would be worth looking at public relations, but specifically in my degree area, which was fashion and beauty.
It sounded like a great idea, so after a bit of research, I updated my CV and searched for internships in London by applying for advertised roles as well as blasting my CV around to companies who may not have been advertising. A few got back to me and finally I had two interviews to attend. After three months of persistence, I got offered a role in the January, before starting in the May. The agency I interned with specialises in beauty, health, food and drink and it really gave me the right platform for starting my career in PR. Over the six months I was there, I made the greatest friends, and learnt so much – I am so grateful for the opportunity they gave me.
What tips would you give for anyone wanting to get into PR? I know it’s been said a million times already, but intern! That said, know your worth and don’t intern for over too long without going for full-time, paid jobs – people might begin to wonder why you haven’t secured a job yet! Talk to anyone and everyone in the company and network with different departments – you don’t know where these paths may lead. Act as a sponge and soak up everything you learn. Be nice, be prepared, talk, make tea, put your all in to every job, no matter how big or small and, my big one, ask questions – you are entering an industry solely built on communication, after all!
What has been the most random day in your career so far? When I interned at Jo Malone London, everyday had the potential to be very surreal – working for such an in-demand brand meant there were lots of special requests including sending candles for Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding, as well as Poppy Delevingne’s summer wedding.
Most memorable work moment? I was lucky enough to be the only intern to attend a Jo Malone London conference (a gift for my support over the year), which was held at the beautiful Cameron House in Loch Lomond, Scotland. As well as strategising for the year ahead, we were treated to a boat ride, sports events and an amazing black tie dinner. On top of that, we were gifted at every moment with products including Jo Malone London perfume, candles, Crème De La Mer face cream and chocolates. On the last night we were all gifted Anya Hindmarch clutch bags, too, which was such a lovely gift to receive and shows hard work pays off!
The best part of your job? Seeing the results – PR is target based and it’s nice to slowly see unknown brands become household names. It’s really rewarding being one of the driving forces behind a brand, so watching it evolve is really satisfying. I get to work with lovely journalists everyday too, which is just another bonus!
Your Plan B? A nurse – I like the idea of helping people and making a difference, and what the NHS does for this country is fantastic.
– Amanda Spence, Senior Account Executive