Student PR's Chris Clarke on getting a job in public relations

Chris Clarke joined Thornley Fallis straight out of school. He was the first person we hired primarily because of his experience in blogging. He’d begun his Student PR blog while studying public relations at London’s Fanshawe College. I subscribed to Chris’ blog and read his posts. Over time, I thought that Chris demonstrated passion for PR and a distinctive perspective and voice that would mesh well with Thornley Fallis’ exploration of social media.

Well, today is Chris’ last day at Thornley Fallis before he leaves us to join another firm that recruited him away from us. We sat down to chat about the highlights of his first PR work experience, what he learned and what advice he would offer to students who are thinking about a career in public relations. Some of Chris’ observations:

  • On the job discovery: PR is a small community. Everyone in the business know one another. If you want to build a career in PR, get out from behind your desk and network. “It’s a nice, small tight-knit community, so the sooner you get to know people, the better off you’re going to be… Networking is one of those things that I picked up early on and hung on to because it’s so important to advance yourself professionally.”
  • On the job lessons: “You’ve got to listen. Always listen. Write things down. Try to take on as much as you can. … you try a little bit of everything and you learn a lot.”
  • Advice for students hoping to break into PR: “Start blogging. Get out there and get involved in the social media community and blog as much as you can.”

You can watch a five minute video of my interview with Chris Clarke here.