Why is public relations a stressful career
Interviews with professionals: PR manager
There are hundreds of job opportunities after studying business administration. From marketing to controlling to health, there are many industries in which graduates can start their careers. But what exactly do the jobs look like after graduation? What are typical experiences and career paths? We asked professionals and received helpful insights.
Björn Z. chose marketing as a major in his bachelor's degree and dealt with the "development and application of a catalog of criteria for evaluating investor relations measures" in his thesis. That was how determined he was when he started his job at a large communications management consultancy and now works for an international hotel booking portal. In his field report, Björn discusses his career choice and reports on his tasks as a PR manager. No day is like any other here and even if it can get stressful, it is exactly the job that he loves.
PR manager for a hotel booking portal
Bachelor of Business Administration at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences
PR manager for an international hotel booking portal
Dear Björn, you first completed an apprenticeship as a banker before you decided to go back to school and study for a Bachelor of Business Administration at the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences. Why study again and why classic business administration?
It was clear to me beforehand that I would continue after my apprenticeship.
It was clear to me beforehand that I would continue after my apprenticeship. During my apprenticeship, however, I still had the plan to pursue further training specific to banking (i.e. banking specialist, business economist, etc.) after the final exam. However, as it turned out that after completing my training I was able to join the marketing department directly and was responsible for the bank's press work, it seemed to me that a general degree in economics made more sense than dedicating myself to the cooperative banking sector from the outset. A decision that I haven't regretted to this day.
Did you already know what you were looking for when choosing a degree? In other words, in which professional direction do you want to go after graduation and what subjects the university should therefore offer? Or did the idea of working in public relations / PR only come about during your studies?
I decided to study economics instead of communication in order to position myself as broadly as possible.
It was already clear to me before I started studying that I would like to develop professionally in the field of communication. Nevertheless, I decided to study economics instead of communication in order to position myself as broadly as possible. Today it is definitely useful to me that I have heard something about finance, accounting, human resources and corporate management. This enables me to understand larger contexts more quickly and to set up my communication in such a way that it can also be understood directly by business journalists.
Let's come to your job as a PR manager: What can you imagine as a prospective student or student by this? What are typical areas of responsibility?
The best thing about the job is that no two days are the same. It is seldom possible to plan a daily routine in advance.
The PR manager is a company's external voice. As "PR Manager Hotel Solutions" I am responsible for all issues related to our hotel partners. For example, if there is a change in the online portal for our hotel partners, I am the one who communicates this change to the outside world. To do this, I create press releases and hold many discussions in advance with colleagues from the specialist departments so that I can provide qualified answers to questions from media representatives. But I also support my colleagues from sales and give them suggestions on how to elegantly answer critical questions from their customers, in particular. This applies both to our colleagues in Germany and to our international locations.
In addition, of course, I always have a look at the topics that are currently occupying our industry. I then check to what extent we would like to comment on this and thus position our company accordingly in public. I sometimes write guest articles for specialist media or arrange interviews with management. An exciting project is our own magazine, which we send six times a year to over 40,000 hotel partners in Germany, Austria and Switzerland free of charge. It contains general guides on the subject of online hotel sales, information about our products and interesting interviews with industry experts on various topics. I am responsible for which topics are dealt with in which issue and what the rough storyline of the individual articles should look like. We then commission experienced specialist journalists to write the texts in cooperation with a corporate publishing agency.
The best thing about the job is that no two days are the same. It is seldom possible to plan a daily routine in advance. Sure, it can of course be stressful at times. Especially when unexpected topics suddenly arise and you still have to make a good statement about it. After that, however, you are happy when your own statement can then be read in some media.
Do you also have a few examples of career paths that your fellow students have taken? Have many chosen a similar career path?
Well, I'm pretty much the only one of my fellow students who made a career in PR after graduation. Depending on their focus, many started in a company's HR department or joined large banks.
When someone wants to pursue the same career path as you and also become a PR manager. What do you recommend him / her? What qualities and interests should you bring along? What is important for a successful start and a career?
It is certainly an advantage if you have a wide range of interests and regularly look outside the box.
A PR manager must of course be able to formulate and write well. If you already have a certain talent here, you can continuously improve this quality through day-to-day work. There are also good opportunities for further education and training. For example, I completed three years of writing training at the journalism school in Cologne. In addition to this basic requirement, it is definitely very important that you can quickly familiarize yourself with various topics. I can only write well about a thing or express my views on it if I have understood it myself. In addition, it is certainly an advantage if you have a wide range of interests and regularly look outside the box. Professionally and privately.
It helped me a lot to focus on a wide range of topics during my studies and then choose to start a job through a management consultancy. In the three years that I worked there, I got to know a wide variety of industries and companies. Whether shipbuilding, logistics, banks, furniture manufacturers or chemical companies: I always had to find my way around the respective project within a very short time. Admittedly, that can be very exhausting at times. Because of this "hard school", however, it is all the easier for me today to deal with new issues.
Could this be your dream job too?
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