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How can I train or break into a 'creative' job from PR? Please help

(28 Posts)
BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 18:53:10

I have writing skills, would trying for junior copywriter roles be a first step maybe?

This job below is really interesting to me, but I'm so confused how to get into that area because it specifies nobody from a marketing or advertising background.

I want to move into a creative field but not sure how to do it. I don't want to be a graphic designer. Embarrassingly I'm hazy even on the definitions of 'creative' in this sense, in the world of content production. It can seem to mean a lot of different things?

I'm getting frustrated because I don't know what direction to try to educate myself in - which courses to consider to re train or where I could possibly get experience. Any ideas?

sarcasmisnotthelowestformofwit Mon 12-Mar-18 19:03:05

What do you do now? How old are you? What stage of your career?

pinkdelight Mon 12-Mar-18 19:03:58

What creative writing do you do? Stories? Scripts? Websites? First step would be to get your writing out there gratis to start with, to build a portfolio. Creative people don't tend to wait to be given a job that designates them as creative. They create and then use that work to develop/apply for opportunities. Use your creativity basically, don't wait for permission. Relevant courses or qualifications can put you in the right company too, help you find your people which leads to more jobs than cold approaches.

ButteredScone Mon 12-Mar-18 19:04:56

Sorry to be unhelpful, but if I wanted a job I wouldn’t be advertising it to hundreds of potential applicants...

pinkdelight Mon 12-Mar-18 19:07:43

And as for knowing what courses are relevant, do some research. There are a zillion writing courses from a week at Arvon foundation to a Masters. Only you really know what you're drawn to. And if you really have no idea, try one anyway. I did a Masters in prose and ended up doing scripts. It's all valuable and helps you learn and find your path. Just get started.

longandshortofit Mon 12-Mar-18 19:21:12

Find some people who already have the job you want and ask them how they got there?

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 19:56:27

Thanks all. I work in PR. So have experience of writing, coordinating campaigns, and managing media relations.

I don't mind 'advertising' that particular job because it's miles out of my league. It will be a long time before I'd ever be able to apply!

Pinkdelight, I'm not really sure what you mean? I think possibly I am using the term 'creative' in a slightly different way, more along the lines of graphic design or copywriting or content production. Not creating work as an artist. Arghh sorry I don't know how to articulate the kinds of jobs I mean.

I think a lot of the time, the 'creative' roles I'm talking about fall under marketing or advertising or PR - things like designing a campaign to promote a brand, to include different aspects like films or websites or events.

Except this job I found specifically says they don't want anyone from an advertising background so now I'm confused again grin

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 19:58:14

I do look at people's LinkedIn to try to figure out their career path, but often they come from very diverse backgrounds.

NotCornflakes Mon 12-Mar-18 20:00:16

Baffled have a look at - it's an organisation for professional and business writers. I'm not currently a member but I recall it was quite cheap to join and they might have training/professional development/networking opportunities.

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 20:01:02

Pinkdelight I've just seen your second post - no I definitely don't mean a creative writing MA or similar. I meant more along the lines of professional qualifications in marketing, or training in software that might be useful, like Photoshop. I can do a little bit with Photoshop but I'm very limited.

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 20:01:32

NotCornflakes, thank you!

LondonCrone Mon 12-Mar-18 20:03:05

I work in this field. I came from a journalism background - I would suggest trying to freelance for magazines or online publications to get clips. Anyone can write a press release; editorial is very different, and I look for hires who think like journalists first and marketers second. Keeping the audience reading is first and foremost.

WorkingBling Mon 12-Mar-18 20:06:34

Why don't you take a graphic design course? Or if you work in PR already, can your current employer be convinced to let you take on some additional, more creative projects?

The role you've highlighted here is clearly not right. But look around at roles you WOULD like to do, then see what skills they want. Then consider rewriting your CV to reflect if you have (or can gain) those skills.

wooster16 Mon 12-Mar-18 20:07:51

What’s your title at the moment? How many years experience, agency side or client?

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 20:11:40

Would any magazine or online platform be interested in anything from someone with no journalistic qualification, though?

I could possibly write a piece for my local community online bulletin but don't think that would cut the mustard! sad

dingdongdigeridoo Mon 12-Mar-18 20:14:18

I’m also a copywriter from a journalism background. I started off in a very boring junior role, writing product descriptions, then worked my way into more interesting accounts.

Employers tend to like ex-journos because they can write short and concise copy. Content writing isn’t as creative as you might think. You have a strict brief and style guide, plus a very limited amount of words to put your point across. When I’ve trained juniors who’ve done creative writing or English degrees it’s been tough as they tend to write in a flowery way.

I’d suggest getting more writing experience in your current role and putting together a portfolio. And learn about SEO. I got a great freelance contract because I knew the basics of SEO.

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 20:16:40

I have been in PR for 4 years. Freelancing for the last couple in a variety of areas, doing a variety of things. Account executive level.

I have worked in a couple of agencies, and the rest have been my own clients. Enjoyed both.

Need to make changes.

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 20:20:03

SEO is already on my list of areas I'm developing! Thank you.

Yes, I have worked with copywriters before briefly here and there, and I know the brief is very precise.

What kind of portfolio would be the most useful? If press releases aren't any good to me?

Maybe I should look into a journalism course?

bridgetreilly Mon 12-Mar-18 20:38:13

I think you're confusing things. The reason they specify no advertising background in that advert isn't because there is no creative content production in advertising, but because they want experience in a different kind of creative content production: online films. They are being specific because, as you say, this isn't an entry-level role.

You need to start looking at entry-level roles in your chosen field.

NC4Now Mon 12-Mar-18 20:44:27

That doesn’t look like a writing job to me. It looks more like a video/content production type role.
What are your multi media skills like? Do you work across different platforms to tell stories in different ways?
If that’s the kind of job you’re keen on I’d be looking to polish your production skills.

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 20:46:23

I'm aware I need to look at entry level roles, yes. But I think I need to get more skills under my belt.

I don't think I'm confused...

I have worked with clients who have also employed agencies who have made films for advertising, so sometimes there is creative content production ?

Unfortunately, there was no crossover from my job at all regarding that. So it's not something I could ask to be more involved in.

BaffledBewilderment Mon 12-Mar-18 20:51:54

Yeah I know what you mean that it's not a writing job. From observation in past environments though, the creative team seem to consist of copywriters, graphic designers and artistic directors who can also get people in to make films or do experiential events, all as part of a campaign.

Out of all those things, I can write so thought it might be the route in to working in this area. Not for this particular job, though!

BaffledBewilderment Tue 13-Mar-18 13:53:24

Any other thoughts or ideas about ways into junior positions?

Or ieas of other careers that are creative? Trying to brainstorm smile

Hissy Tue 13-Mar-18 14:27:06

I've spent 20 years in the creative industry in branding and all forms of design as a 'suit'/strategy/direction. Inclusive of managing the creative arm of a PR firm, I also spent a couple of years in design recruitment at some point. I used to get a lot of people wanting to break into design.

<sweeping generalisation klaxon>
Firstly, PR and design are not compatible. There is no crossover because PR is all about a voice and a story, not how something looks or feels.

if your skills are writing, then focus on that, be creative in that realm.

To break into an unrelated area requires a complete change in thinking. Journalism - I feel - is in the opposite direction again to where you say you want to be.

to get to your goal, you need to make interim moves to get there - stepping stones if you will.

your best bet is to make a move into marketing, to take your writing skills and 'sell' client ideas, establish tones of voice for them and bring brands to life that way. Digital marketing, corporate blogging, managing a client's social media, content research and development, marketing collateral etc.

Ideally, you could then work with a creative/designer to give you visuals to use. you will need to know what information they need to have to do what they do and manage that process too, providing the link between client and creative.

If you were sat in front of me with my design recruitment head on, that is what I would suggest - if I saw the promise there.

Qualities you would need - the ability to present your thoughts and ideas, confidence to speak to clients and willingness/capacity to pick things up quickly and think on your feet.

BaffledBewilderment Tue 13-Mar-18 15:04:37

Thank you!

I have done some corporate blogging and social media management, so am familiar. Also had fun writing some adverts for the Evening Standard for one of my clients, but I don't have any real knowledge!

I'm very interested in the visuals side of things (was offered a place at a great art school, but ended up at university doing essay based degree instead) though don't want to be a graphic designer.

Sorry, I'm a confused bag of jumbled skills. But thank you all, because reading through all the posts is helpful for working out where I might fit and where to aim for.

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