Case study

Senior public relations and communications manager — Tegan Dunne

Internships in PR helped Tegan explore her interests and use the skills gained from her journalism and public relations degree

How did you get your job in the PR industry?

I completed four internships in the final year of my BA in journalism and public relations, one of which led to my first job in PR. I then moved to London looking to work for an non-governmental organisation (NGO) dealing with international crisis.

What's a typical working day like?

I start by reading the news to see what's happening in UK politics, global development and education. I meet with communications, digital and advocacy teams to discuss the daily news agenda.

I'm involved in events, campaigns, celebrity management, projects, podcasts and media relations. On a typical day I'll speak to the media and some of the NGOs we work with to get contributions on pieces we are working on, draft a press release and speak with our partners on the ground.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Helping to improve children's lives around the world. Working in PR and communications is an extremely powerful tool and can affect meaningful change. I get to do that every day in my role.

What are the challenges?

The scale of issues affecting children can make it hard to stay motivated or feel like you're making an impact. Success reminds me of why I do what I do.

How relevant is your degree?

Journalism and public relations is very relevant when dealing with the media and in all communications within my role.

What advice can you give to others hoping to get into PR?

Intern as much as possible while at university, as PR and communication is so vast and diverse. You'll gain skills and start to learn what you're good at.

If you don't love what you do, stop doing it. I realised in my first job as a PR assistant that consumer PR wasn't for me. Luckily, my manager recgonised my passion for the not-for-profit sector, which helped me forge the path to where I am now.

Make sure you network at every chance you get. Meeting others and having contacts and connections is a very important part of the PR industry.

As a PR practitioner, it's your job to know what is going on in the news and to brief your senior management on responses or actions to the news agenda. This is one of the most important parts of a PR role.

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