Why it might be time to consider PR outside London

The bright lights of London are an attractive prospect to many PRs looking for work, especially those straight out of university, and why not?  The UK’s capital city is a business hub, accounting for around 841,000 private sector businesses in the UK and of course PR is well represented amongst this. But is there life in the PR industry outside of London? After all, this urban metropolis isn’t for everyone.

A 2017 report highlighted that the number of people fleeing London to live elsewhere has hit a five-year high. Rising property prices were one of the key drivers behind this shift and when you consider the rising cost of commuting, it can quickly become a less attractive option. At the same time, the average commute for Londoners is the longest in the UK – over an hour and 20 minutes every day.

But is there a disadvantage to not being based in London? As time has moved on, so has technology and the accessibility to clients and the media via technology makes London less of a ‘must’ when working in PR. Freelance PR consultant Guy McGerr, explained that because getting online is so easy in this day and age, you can work pretty much without boundaries, narrowing the gap between those in the city and those outside:

“The city is still the de facto place to be for many of the biggest companies out there, but it isn’t the only place anymore. Tech has made it easier to work from anywhere and also allowed smaller companies to punch above their weight on a national and even international scale”  

Guy made the move from London into the suburbs and was surprised about the opportunities that were available: “Finding work is not as challenging as I originally thought. Once you start looking you realise there are a lot more opportunities than you realise, both in-house and agency.”

A recent addition to the Touchdown PR team, Fiona Armstrong, concluded: “Commuting to London every day was exhausting, and didn’t leave me much bandwidth to even consider opportunities to grow and progress. At Touchdown, I finally have more time to build my skills and pursue an area of PR that I’m exceptionally passionate about – such as data science.“

In addition, it’s not just PRs that are moving out of London. As the journalism industry adapts to online news, social media and changing monetisation models, we are seeing publications open in Bristol, Middlesex and Lancashire, among many other places. There has never been a better time to consider a PR career outside of the Big Smoke.

To find out more about starting your PR career outside of London, visit our Careers page.

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