How to negotiate your dream PR job

The pandemic has had a dramatic effect on the PR job market, last year was not easy for many looking for new roles, but now there is a bounce back and it is more of a candidate-led market, with great demand for skilled PRs. This is good news for those looking for a new role or who wish to negotiate a better deal with their current employer. Below, we offer top tips for asking, and getting, benefits that will make for a longer and happier career in PR and marketing.

Be armed with facts

Arran Stewart, co-founder of recruitment platform Job.com: “The key to negotiating with either an existing or new employer is to be armed with market data facts. What is the going rate for a package within the PR industry for someone in your location with your job title and skills? Previously, this information was challenging to come by, but now, platforms including Salary.com and Zippia can easily arm you with all the information you need to have a compelling bargaining point. Keep in mind that there will never be just one set salary for your job title - it will always be a range.”

Start 15% higher

Arran Stewart: “My advice is to always start with your negotiation 15% above the number you would be happy with. This way, if you get negotiated down, you’ll still land at a salary and package you’re happy with. Don't be shy about asking for what you want, but remain realistic and base your ask on the market data.”

Don’t be too demanding

Arran Stewart: “Also, make sure that when you negotiate you come across as both collaborative and co-operative, not demanding - that's a big red flag for any employer.”

Expect flexible options

Chloe Murray, PR and content executive at B2B tech marketing agency Fox Agency: “Time with family and friends is invaluable and the events of the past year have proved that. So, finding a role which allows for flexibility, and understands that sometimes you have to do a little life laundry in work hours, shouldn’t be undervalued. As we spend the majority of our waking life at work, an employer who cares about looking after your wellbeing, as well as your bank balance, is a major plus point when landing your dream job.”

Work out what is most important

Chloe Murray: “Weigh up what’s really important for you personally and the reasonable demands will soon become clear.”

Four things to expect from your employer

Catherine Warrilow, consumer brand PR consultant at digital gaming company Rank Interactive, says these are key attributes that should make your new job the right one for you:

  1. Hybrid working - for opportunities that are largely remote, look for regular team planning/collaboration days that allow time to think beyond the day to day and focus on challenging usual PR methodology.
  2. Integrated teams - roles that offer the opportunity to work hand in hand with marketing, brand and SEO to create an aligned content strategy.
  3. A focus on mental health - whether that’s flexible hours, set days to volunteer or simply challenge yourself in new ways. Look out for organisations that have a head of culture/happiness to monitor things like meeting heavy environments or scope creep.
  4. A job ad that speaks to your values - a business that embraces mistakes or promotes family-friendly working. If you’re not excited to hit ‘apply now’, it’s not the right role.

Despite many PR and marketing businesses experiencing delays in opening up offices, the job market is still growing, which makes it harder for employers to find the skilled people they need. Whilst there is a demand for people like you, make sure you take full advantage of it!