Graduating from university and moving into employment is both exciting and daunting in equal measure. We were fortunate to have secured employment before we finished our Masters. This was also the case for several of our classmates, with the majority securing employment in Cork. So far this is anecdotal, but when examining the facts, it’s quite clear to see, Cork is a vibrant hub for communications.
From Education to Employment
Studies show that the majority of PR professionals in Ireland hold a form of professional qualification. The PRII 2022 Census found that over 89% of practitioners held a relevant qualification, with 40% holding a masters degree. This shows that holding a relevant qualification is highly regarded with the PR profession. Cork has several courses that are related to the field, most notably the Masters in Public Relations with New Media offered by Munster Technological University. As graduates of the course, we can speak for its ability to prepare students for the world of PR.
As one comes to the end of their studies, thoughts naturally drift to those of employment. For many, seeking employment post education often involves moving to Dublin, while Dublin certainly provides many opportunities, there is no intrinsic need to move to Dublin to start your career in PR. There are plenty of opportunities here in Cork, but not only are there plenty of PR employment opportunities in Cork, there are opportunities to work for award winning firms. We have seen this first hand as in 2020, AM O’Sullivan PR won the PRCA award for Agency of the Year. Cork also boasts plenty of opportunities for working in-house with industry leaders from pharmaceuticals to tech based companies in Cork.
Choosing the Right Agency
Finding the right graduate job requires an abundance of patience, research and self-belief. The PR industry is a broad sector, accounting for countless specialisms and industries, whether that’s in-house or agency work. As graduates with a political, government and public relations background, it was important for us both to research agencies that aligned with our skill-sets as well as most importantly, our interests.
As a Cork-based strategic communications consultancy, AM O’Sullivan PR works closely with a number of multinationals in the life science, technology, energy and professional services sectors, to name a few. Working in an agency allows exposure into many different client campaigns, objectives and contributing to an overall successful communications strategy. No two days are the same working in PR. The work can vary from press release writing, to event management, video production to crisis management.
Training and Mentorship
Gaining training and mentorship in an agency enables you to diversify your skillset and develop expertise. An important thing to look out for when seeking employment are employers who offer internship programmes. Graduate programmes like this give you the opportunity to learn about agency work from a day-to-day basis, and to understand what makes a successful media campaign. You will have the chance to develop relationships with media contacts, as well as with key suppliers in the industry, emphasising the importance of collaboration. Receiving training and mentorship early in your career is hugely beneficial, and many Cork PR agencies offer these internships. If you are interested in gaining first-hand PR experience, our advice would be to research the different agencies and reach out to them.
Overall, Cork provides an ideal place to study and work in PR. Communications is at the heart of every industry, and Cork is quickly becoming a communications hub.
Jamie Twomey and Katie Sweeney are Junior Client Executives at AM O’Sullivan PR.