Transitioning From Content to Digital PR
At the beginning of your career, it can be hard to work out which area of SEO is the best fit for your skills and interests. But the great thing about SEO is that once you’ve worked in one area, others can open up to you.
I’m Annabel Mulliner and I joined WMG as a Digital PR Account Executive in October 2021 after working as a Content Writer throughout my university studies. Sharing the experience of my transition between different SEO areas, my aim is to help anyone who’s considering a move into Digital PR decide if it’s right for them.
Why I chose to move from content to digital PR
When I initially began job hunting, I wasn’t completely set on digital PR. Instead, I kept an open mind, looking for roles where I could use my writing and SEO experience. In fact, I discovered the digital PR account executive and content writer vacancies at WMG at the same time.
After expressing my interest in both roles and having a chat with Lauren from the recruitment team, she offered to set up interviews for both positions to see which team I would be a better fit for. If you’re not sure which role is the best fit for you, WMG are really supportive at allowing you to explore your options.
After my interview with Head of PR, Cheryl, and Senior Digital PR Account Manager, Sarah, I immediately felt excited at the prospect of digital PR. Having spoken to them about the team’s working culture, and what my day-to-day would look like, I knew this role would be the right fit for me.
How my interest in digital PR began
I wasn’t going into the industry completely cold – I did a bit of reactive PR as part of my content writing roles, which involved hunting down relevant media requests that we could comment on. I enjoyed this reactive element as it’s a great feeling when you get a great result from a last-minute journalist request. This is what sparked my interest in the wider industry.
Though I love content writing, I’m also really interested in the media, having edited and written for a few publications during my studies. Because of this, I can empathise with journalists whose inboxes are flooded with press releases! Transitioning to digital PR from content has allowed me to further explore this interest while still building on my SEO and writing skills.
Skills that helped me make the switch
While content and digital PR are distinctive industries, there’s plenty of overlap between them when it comes to useful skills that can make transitioning easier.
Writing well is a key part of any creative communications role and digital PR is no exception. The details really matter, as writing a compelling outreach email and subject line can determine whether a journalist picks up your story or even opens your email at all.
In the modern digital landscape, content writing and digital PR both play important roles in an SEO strategy. Through content writing, I gained a strong understanding of both on-page optimisation and various link building strategies which meant I already understood the importance of digital PR for business’ online visibility.
It’s common for journalists to transition to PR, because media relations are so essential to what we do. But even if you don’t have direct experience in journalism, having an active interest in the news is a huge help when starting a career in digital PR. My content writing roles involved writing feature style pieces and keeping on top of media trends, both of which I’ve found useful in my new role.
What are the differences and similarities between the industries?
In terms of day-to-day activity, I’ve found digital PR to be more varied. As you could probably guess, as a content Writer, I was writing 90 percent of the time.
I still do plenty of writing for the PR team, as we write our press releases and onsite content within the team rather than outsourcing. But on top of this, I’m also involved in brainstorms, desk research, data analysis and campaign promotion to name just a few things.
Another key difference between this role and my previous one is that my last role was in-house rather than for an agency. At WMG, I’m working across a wide variety of niches rather than writing on a few select topics. I find this keeps life interesting as I’m always learning new things through our campaign research.
My advice for those considering the switch from content to digital PR
You should know that everything you’ve learned in the content industry will be useful and transferable. At the end of the day, both are exciting industries to work in, so it comes down to what you enjoy most and what motivates you.
A major difference to note is that in digital PR, you must be able to handle a lot of rejection. For every amazing result a campaign achieves, there will be handfuls of emails left unopened or ignored. It’s important to be resilient and trust in the process, knowing that your hard work will be rewarded in time.
For anyone looking to join WMG’s digital PR team, I can’t recommend it enough. They’ve been incredibly supportive of my progression and everyone, regardless of seniority, is encouraged to get involved in new business opportunities and the development of the team’s wider strategies.
If you’re thinking of making the leap from content writing into the world of digital PR or take your first step into digital, I hope my story has helped you work out if that decision is right for you!