So you want a job in PR? Follow the purple unicorn (again)
April 19, 2017
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, purple unicorns are hard to find. What is this elusive purple unicorn, you might ask? In case you’ve missed a blog or two, here’s the gist: Purple unicorns are something so rare and mythical, that they may not actually exist. In my mind, the ideal PR agency is much the same. It’s so magical, that in reality, it doesn’t exist. With that said, we’re pretty fortunate here at Barokas Communications, which to me, is the complete package – aka a purple unicorn. Without doing your due diligence as a PR candidate, it can be tough to find your own purple unicorn-PR agency.
I will be the first to tell you that if a candidate comes to the interview with no questions of his or her own prepared, the lack of action speaks much louder than the words not being said—which is, they haven’t done their research. There are several interview questions (and a bonus tip) that you really should be asking if you’re truly in search of your own perfect work environment. While I can’t promise you these questions/tips will land you the job all on their own, they are a guaranteed great place to start.
Question 1: Can you please tell me a story that illuminates the culture here?
One thing to know about PR professionals is that they love to tell stories—both their clients’, and their own. Asking the interviewer to tell a story about the company culture will help you determine what the workplace atmosphere is really like. Generic questions that many interviewees throw out, such as, “What’s the culture like here?” aren’t really going to help you find your purple unicorn, because they come with generic answers. Passionate PR professionals will be happy to tell you a story that puts the culture into a clearer context that helps you determine if it’s truly a good match.
Question 2: What was it about my resume that most interested you?
When a resume comes in the door at any mid-size company, not just a PR agency, it tends to come in with TONS of other resumes for the same position (and even that’s being conservative). If you make it to the phone, or the more intimidating in-person, interview, something on your resume caught their attention, so much so that they want to learn more. Aren’t you curious what that factor is? If the interviewer can’t answer it, you might want to reconsider the odds that they are your true purple unicorn. You’ve done your homework on them, but have they invested the time to do their homework on you?
Bonus Tip: The Art of the “Thank You”
Aside from asking the most important questions, gratitude always leaves a lasting impression. If this is your purple unicorn PR agency, don’t just tell them—show them you have a deep appreciation and desire for the opportunity by bringing up something you liked discussing in the conversation (for example, if you both had a common love for pugs). Standing out with the extra effort of a “thank you” note within 24 hours after the interview, a handwritten letter if you really want to impress, helps show your purple unicorn company that you believe in their magic.
While I may not be the foremost expert on hunting down purple unicorns, I’ve learned a thing or two working on our HR programs at Barokas Communications. While I can’t *promise* you’ll land the job of your dreams heeding this advice, it is a great place to start. Believe in the fantasy, and it can become your reality.
Good luck out there!