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How to get promoted in PR

Most of us want more responsibility and greater the financial reward that goes with it - here are 12 top tips for landing a more senior role.

From Anna Thomson, business director at PR agency Kaper:

PR yourself
“Promotion is at the core of this industry and it’s important to be proud of good work. Don’t be afraid to show that great piece of coverage or that email of client praise, but do so in a considered way, don’t brag for bragging’s sake and always recognise how others contributed.”

Make and track goals
“Setting ambitious, but reachable, goals and tracking them every month will give you a constant temperature check on how you’re doing.”

From Jack Low, senior account manager at PR firm Zoodikers Consulting:

Go above and beyond
“To get ahead, succeed and ultimately enjoy a role as a PR account manager takes determination and dedication beyond the 9-5. Grasping the practicalities of handling budgets and delivering results that exceed client expectations make a good account manager. Passion, drive and a personal desire to go above and beyond to build and maintain valuable relationships is what makes a great one.”

Be confident in your skills
“Confidence in your writing ability teamed with a conviction that your opinion is valuable to clients will give you the edge. Taking advice from senior team members and learning from your experiences will help you to develop your own unique style, which when honed will get you to the next rung of the career ladder.”

From Adele Woodthorpe, founder of agency Woodthorpe Comms:

Get results
“It's not about being seen to arrive at 7am or working evenings and weekends. Generally speaking, it's simply about results. Whether you're in-house or agency, the bottom line is that results are what get measured, noticed and remembered, so bring in the coverage and make it happen.”

Build contacts
“Build your contacts, not just in the press, but also amongst other PROs, venues, brands, celebrities and their agents. In order to excel in this industry you are only ever as good as your contacts.”

From Davnet Doran, managing director of PR agency Unity:

Be open about your ambition
“It’s not just the ones that shout the loudest who get moved up. However, it’s always good to be upfront about your ambitions and hunger for progression.”

Fit in
“If you’re not aligned to the values of the organisation you’re working in, you’re unlikely to be a natural fit – and getting promoted will be tougher. We look for passion, being curious, genuinely enjoying collaborating (among other things!). You might have the most awesome technical skills, but if you have no real interest in what makes people tick, it won’t work long term.”

From Duncan Purves, managing director of agency Stature PR:

Act like a boss
“Adopt the mind-set of a company owner by simply asking yourself when making decisions/completing tasks – would the owner do that?  For example, when considering complaining about colleagues and gossiping about company practices… if the answer is 'no' then act differently and your line manager will notice the maturity.”

Bring in new business
“From your first day in the job be thinking new business, even if it’s not part of your immediate role, talking about targets, suggesting opportunities and setting up potential leads will immediately put you ahead of the game.”

From Emma Grace, joint managing director at sports and entertainment agency PrettyGreen.

Find a mentor and a model
“In addition to your line manager, find a mentor who you feel comfortable getting guidance from. Also, is there someone that inspires and impresses you? Notice what they do that makes them amazing, and emulate in your own unique way."

Think like the client
“Be empathetic to what it is like client-side.  A few of our team work from our clients' offices a couple of days a week. It’s an invaluable way to absorb yourself in the pressures that your client faces and the stakeholders they have to manage."

So there you go, 12 simple steps towards moving onwards and upwards. What’s stopping you?

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