What education are PR firms looking for in new recruits?

Kerri Birtch poses the question on the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms Weblog, “What level of of education is necessary or valued in the PR industry?”

Personally, I look for people who have at least an Honours BA. If the candidate possesses a graduate degree, I’ll spend extra time talking with her about her studies and what she drew from the experience of gaining a graduate degree. What I am looking for in this is the “extra spark” of insight, self awareness and maturity of thought.

How about a PR certificate? This can give an edge to one of two otherwise equal candidates because it gives me some assurance that the entry level prospect has been exposed to the mechanics of PR.

But more than anything, I’m looking for analytic and problem solving skills. PR consultants s must be able to listen to our clients, draw out relevant facts and assemble them in a coherent assessment and proposed solution. The outstanding consultant will draw on a set of PR tools. But she will also not be restricted by them. She will have a broader exposure to communication, sociology, and business that will enable her to find an effective solution to a problem.

That’s what I look for. How about you? What do you look for in a new hire for a public relations job?

A look behind the scenes at Canada's major public relations firms

Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms Are you interested in corporate communications and public relations ? Are you curious about the people who advise CEO’s and corporate communicators on the newest strategies and tactics?

If you answer yes to these questions, click over to the Canadian Council of Public Relations Firms and subscribe to the RSS feed there.

and in Who leads Canada’s public relations firms? How did they get to where they are? What do they think makes each of their firms special? What advice would they give to young people who would like to pursue a career in public relations?

Next week, we’ll start a new series of video interviews in which I talk with the leaders of Canada’s PR firms about how they got to where they are, what makes their firms special, what advice they would give to young people starting out in public relations and other issues that they think are important to public relations today.

So, if you’re curious about the public relations industry and the people who head up the ‘s major PR firms, subscribe to the CCPRF blog and you’ll receive a stream of biweekly interviews.

Hear ChickAdvisor at Third Tuesday Toronto

“I love your bag! Where’d You Get That?”Your hair looks fantastic! What Salon do you go to?”What’s the best cleanser for oily skin?

Hold on. Don’t click away. Yes, you ARE on ProPR. What do these questions have to do with ProPR and social media, you might ask?

Ali de BoldOne of the great things about Web 2.0 and social media is that entrepreneurs can bring their ideas to market with relatively little initial capital. ChickAdvisor is a prime example of a company started this way. Founders Alex and Ali de Bold have drawn on their own resources – personal savings, family and friends, and credit cards – to bring their idea to life.

Alex and Ali describe ChickAdvisor as “a social shopping reviews website for women to share advice on everything from hair salons to health clubs. All content is user generated and focuses on the products and local services women use every day. Members can add reviews, send links to their friends, add items to their hotlists and click through to buy items locally or online. Nothing beats a good recommendation and that’s what ChickAdvisor is all about!”

Alex de BoldSince they started their service in September 2006, Alex and Ali have built a community around ChickAdvisor by appealing to a focused interest of a clearly identified group (shopping and women). They haven’t reached profitability yet. But they think they are on course to do so.

So, Alex and Ali are two people who know a lot about creating an interesting social site that serves a need for a defined audience. They also know a lot about the challenges of creating a viable Web 2.0 business.

And they’ll be sharing what they’ve learned when they appear at Third Tuesday Toronto on Wednesday January 23 (yes Third Tuesday Toronto is on a Wednesday this month!). If you’re in Toronto that night, come out and join the discussion. You’ll meet lots of other people who share an interest in social media and Web 2.0. And you’ll hear a presentation by some people who are “there and doing it” right now.

Third TuesdayThird Tuesday events are free.* But we have to guarantee a minimum to the pub where we hold the event. If you plan to attend, please RSVP on the Third Tuesday Toronto meetup site so that we can get an accurate forecast of the number of attendees.

CNW Group* Yes, there’s a reason why these events are free. They are organized by volunteers and direct costs such as the sound system and room charge are paid for by our sponsor, CNW Group. Thank you CNW. You make it possible for Canada’s social media community to gather and learn.