If you’re considering a fast-paced career in public relations, make sure you’re aware of the highs, the lows and everything in-between. We spoke to Bessie Hassan, Head of Public Relations for finder.com.au, to find out what it’s really like.
What’s to Love?
There is never a dull moment in PR. I love the variety, my team and working in such a fast-paced industry. One minute I could be in a brand brainstorm and the next I could be blind-tasting Easter eggs in preparation for a TV interview – yes at finder.com.au we compare literally everything!
I also love that I get time to write, whether it be blogs, press releases or pitches. As an ex-magazine journalist, it means I get to enjoy the best of both worlds.
What’s the Downside?
In this day and age, we’re surrounded by media which makes it hard to switch off. On the weekend, I can never go back to reading the paper or watch the news as a regular consumer. The occupational hazard is that my PR hat is always on: I’m noticing who the reporter is, if a competitor is mentioned in the piece or if there’s a new trend we can use for our next story first thing Monday morning.
Can You Describe a Typical Day?
My day starts with F45 training or a live interview on breakfast TV. On my way into the office I go through my inbox for any urgent media queries and scan the news for trends we can leverage. Once I’m in the office, I gather the PR team and we kick-off with a stand up WIP (work-in-progress) meeting to discuss our game plan for the day ahead.
During the day, I work with the team on both short-term actions and long-term strategy – it’s important to balance both.
My day ends with story time in bed with my kids – they love books just like their mum!
Do You Have Any Advice PR Students?
Graduate with a few internships under your belt. Your C.V will stand out if you’ve dipped you toe in the water and you’ll be able to hit the ground running in your first job.
Read as many news articles as you can. The more you read, the more you’ll understand what journalists are after.
PR is a fun industry, but you need to have thick skin and an open mind. Be open to feedback and don’t take it personally. The more you listen to experienced PR professionals and take on feedback objectively, the faster you’ll excel.