Guest post: How I found my way into digital PR

Jessica Pardoe -- public relations -- MK

In this guest post, Jessica Pardoe shares how she found her way into digital from Business & Public Relations university course, and her short but enlightening career path.

Did I ever consider a career in digital?

Well, digital was something I’d never really considered as an industry to work in until a few years ago. I associated it with the word ‘digital marketing’ with creating websites or something. A skill I knew very little about. It was only when I started seeking out internships in my second year of studying that I discovered just how many branches there actually were to the metaphorical digital marketing tree.

So how did I end up there?

I came across my now-employer Tecmark when seeking out work experience. They were an established digital marketing agency based in Manchester, and they offered me the opportunity to work for them one day a week to learn digital PR. I’d never done anything to do with ‘digital PR’ before, but with such a good opportunity at my fingertips, it was really hard to say no. I’d done internships in traditional agencies, which were really interesting, but I always felt as if there was something missing. I hated how you couldn’t share coverage you’d achieved in a glossy magazine, for example. And at the same time as this, I was prepping for my dissertation which explored how to measure ROI for PR campaigns and was finding that in traditional PR, it was getting increasingly hard to prove value.

So I quickly became submerged in digital.

I soon learned just how fast things get turned around in the online media. And since then, I was hooked. I love the fast-paced atmosphere of working in digital PR, a job that can get my heart rate racing while simply sitting at a desk is the right job for me. I started off learning content marketing and the very basics of SEO, I then progressed to learning digital PR and in no time at all – I was selling stories to the press. I was still early-on in my career when I got my first piece of online coverage, it was in the Daily Mail and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. The butterflies I felt then are the same butterflies I feel now, and that’s why I think I’m set in a career for digital for life. There’s nothing better than Googling one of your clients names and seeing the stories you crafted appear in top publications.

I’ve been working full-time as a Digital PR Executive for just over one year now, I was an intern for one full year before that. So in total, that’s just over two years in digital. And since walking in on my first day, I’ve learned content marketing, SEO, digital PR, link building, and so much more. I’ve gone from going home after my work and Googling our clients to learn more about them, to managing those accounts. I give thanks to my progression in my career not only in my own personal ambition to do well and to grow, but also to the industry of digital marketing and PR for being so forward thinking, and for creating a habitable environment for the people who work within it to keep on achieving and getting better.

And now, I’m set for life…

I never thought digital PR is a career I’d pursue, I was always set on Events Management. However, now I’m here I think I’m rooted. To any graduates who may be reading this, digital PR may not be your first choice. You may have your sights set on those big London-lifestyle PR executive jobs where you spend your days going to events and Instagramming, which is fine. But it’s also worth considering a career that allows you to progress and climb the ranks at rocket speed. One that’s so fast-paced that you might issue a comment, and see it live in publications such as the Metro, HuffPost, the Sun, Daily Mail etc. within 20 minutes. And ultimately, one that’s going to be around for a very long time.

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This is a guest post from Jessica Pardoe — a Digital PR & Outreach Executive at Tecmark. After graduating from university (LJMU) in 2018 with a 1.1 degree in Business & PR, she’s been working in digital PR and marketing ever since. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here. She can be found tweeting @jessicapardoePR.