Five learnings from five months

Five learnings from five months

Being new to the business of public relations consultancy, I wanted to take the time and reflect on the key learnings from my first five months in this challenging yet exciting field. During my studies in European Governance, I developed a strong interest in globalisation and realised that the interconnectedness in today’s world has become a challenge, but at the same time, a great opportunity for stakeholders to connect and share their ideas more easily to a broader public. Working in a PR agency enables me to play a part in that, by helping clients share their values and ambitions with the right audience in order to support their cause. Now working in this field for five months, I realised that PR consulting involves more than I had previously imagined. Let’s have a look at the most important learnings I made, in particular on press relations.


Being familiar with the media landscape is fundamental for understanding the interests of editorial departments, journalists and target readerships. There is a broad variety of media outlets, which in a way represent the diversity of our society. Not only the editorial line or the content is different for every news outlet, but also the way editorial departments operate and, most importantly, the topics they are predominantly looking to cover. As a PR consultant, you always want to extract the public interest that emerges from client’s topics and make it accessible to the target audiences.

To grow into the role of PR consultant means getting familiar with the media landscape. On top of the general media, almost every sector or industry does have its own specialised media and therefore has a special focus on certain topics. Getting to know all media outlets and their respective industry specifics as well as the target audience, is one of the basics when working in a PR agency operating in many different sectors.


As important as it is to know the media landscape, it is even more important to know your clients. Working in a PR agency means dealing with a large set of clients from various sectors. At first it will take some time to adapt and to learn about the activities and the general context in which the clients are operating.

Every client and every sector have its own challenges and needs which must always be taken into account in our consultancy and PR work. This means that you constantly need to put yourself into the shoes of your clients and fully understand their situation. At first, it can be very challenging to project yourself from one client to another throughout the day, but by learning to ask yourself the right questions, it becomes kind of playful and, most importantly, the most stimulating part of PR work.

Of course, it is also important to be able to listen very closely during meetings with the clients in order to understand their objectives. They entrust you with some of their concerns, with some of their ambitions and, in the end, also with their reputation. This ultimately requires a great degree of responsibility and sensitivity, especially when it comes to critical topics and crisis communications.


Media monitoring is crucial to understanding your clients and analysing trends in particular sectors. While doing daily press reviews, you learn to identify important developments and to summarise them in succinct reports. You gradually develop an alertness to some topics and also the skill to quickly screen trough news articles in order to gather relevant information. A general interest or curiosity is of course needed to have an open-minded view and to be able to learn about topics that could be of interest to your clients, and to think across topics and sectors.

Because manual media monitoring is somewhat time-consuming, and given that important pieces of news can still be missed, it is also important to learn how to use automated monitoring tools such as Talkwalker. It helps to work more efficiently, as these tools include alert systems which immediately notify you in case certain keywords regarding a client or issue come up in social media posts or news articles.


Once you know the media landscape and understand the client while closely following the relevant news, the ability to identify risks and opportunities lies at the heart of PR work. You have to understand that today, every communication carries a risk, but that with every risk, an opportunity arises that can be seized and built on. An in-depth analysis of your client’s context (operations, sector, communications, etc) is therefore necessary. This can include a stakeholder mapping and determining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in a given situation.

You will also need to anticipate questions or concerns that might arise from all the different stakeholders and be prepared to answer them. The most important skills to develop are analytical thinking and the ability to adopt (and maintain) an external point of view and build a coherent approach on how to handle complex issues. If you have mastered all these, you can formulate the right messages and be able to adapt them to any given situation or target audience.


Project management almost naturally and systematically comes on top of the consultant role. As a PR consultant you not only need to manage all the previously mentioned tasks but also need to coordinate all the work with the client, your team and your partners and their teams. You almost always need to follow or set strict deadlines but also need to be agile and ready to adapt to unforeseen situations. Every project, every client, every sector is different, which in return means that the planning and process of projects will be different every time.

Let's get in touch

Offices:14, Place du ParcL-2313 Luxembourg
Tel.: +352 621 247 285 Tel.: + 352 621 397 951


Public relations consultant at Oxygen & Partners


Looking for internships?


Oxygen proposes internships to students and graduates. If you identify yourself with Oxygen & Partners’ positioning, bring adequate qualifications, seek to learn from our team and work while making a meaningful contribution by applying your own knowledge and perspectives in public relations, do not hesitate to submit your application and your CV.

Send us a message