Published On: Sat, Nov 13th, 2010

2011 PR Grad Schemes

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been doing some research and speaking to industry colleagues to create a list of 2011 PR Grad Schemes.

At present, the list is about the same size as it was last November and I fully expect it to expand beyond fourteen fifteen opportunities. It also consists, mainly of the larger London based agencies, which is to be expected as smaller, regional agencies do not tend to run a formal graduate scheme.

The list demonstrates that whilst many final year students will be acclimatising to their final year and thinking about dissertations, the race for a graduate PR job has also begun.

I anticipate this list will grow in the new year, so I will be making amendments as new opportunities arise.

On a personal note, the feedback I received after last years list was tremendous and people seemed genuinely grateful. I hope this years proves just as useful for the class of 2011. Sarah Stimson deserves a lot of credit for very kindly sharing her list of 2011 PR Grad Schemes. Thank you, Sarah.

Note to companies: if you have a scheme please email me and I’ll add you to the list.

Updated 27 March 2011

Blue Rubicon

Open for internships all year round

Chime Comms

Content & Motion
Open – C&M are looking for a final year student or recent graduate to join their team.



Fast Track

Fishburn Hedges

Operates a six month training scheme all year round. On completion of the graduate training scheme performance will be reviewed and, if satisfactory, graduates will be considered for a permanent position.

Four Comms

Hill & Knowlton

Hotwire Group (encompassing Hotwire and Skywrite)

Ketchum Pleon
Closes 29 April 2011

Lexis PR

Speed Comms

About the Author

- Marketing Manager with a passion for inbound at HubSpot, Founder of Growth Hack Talks, Blogger at and Chief Quaffer at .

Displaying 28 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Ben Cotton says:

    Hey Sarah,

    Thank you very much for sharing your list too, it is much appreciated.

    It’ll be interesting to see how many formal PR Grad Schemes are announced for 2011.



  2. Great post Ben, thanks so much for updating your list!

    I’ve been searching a lot today, will let you know if I find any other official grad schemes to add!


  3. Ben Cotton says:

    No worries, Natalie – I hope you find the post useful.

    Please do let me know if you stumble across any more schemes.



  4. Lauren Sedgley says:

    Thanks Ben, this is so helpful! Now to get applying.


  5. […] seen it on the site. Please note that since the article went live Ben Cotton has updated his graduate scheme list and Sarah Stimson has also created her own list here. Both are incredibly useful tools when […]

  6. Alison Dwyer says:

    Hi Ben
    Would you be able to let me know how many of this programmes pay the grads? And what the rate is?

  7. Ben Cotton says:

    Hi Alison,

    I can confirm that all are paid graduate schemes and most pay c£20k. You can find out the specifics by following the links.

    For info: On ethical grounds I insist that all jobs/internships posted on SWT are paid – I find it morally questionable that organisations will charge clients a fee, yet get someone in to work for free.

    I believe not paying interns also contributes to the shameful lack of diversity within the PR industry.



  8. Hey!

    First of all, I want to say THANK YOU for creating a list that collates all the PR companies offering grad schemes!

    I’m in my final year, and have started to applying to a few companies, but have not even been invited to interviews! I’ve got pretty good A-Levels, and am currently doing a PR Internship, so I was wondering if you had any ideas as to what these PR companies are after from their grads?!

    The only think I can think of, is my degree choice (I’m studying English with Creative Writing), and am now wondering whether employers are looking for more specific marketing degrees?

    What would be the key things you’d look for if you were recruiting a graduate?!

    Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated, by me and many others I’m sure!



    • Ben Cotton says:

      Hey Maisie,

      Thanks for the comment and I genuinely hope you find the list useful.

      I speak to many students whose story mirrors yours – and whilst breaking into the PR industry is proving to be very competitive at the moment, particularly for graduates, the main thing is to not get too downbeat about any rejections. Few people have never been rejected for a job.

      Also, I would not get too hung up over your degree choice. The vast majority of my colleagues do not have PR/Marketing degrees. Good agencies realise that PR is more art than science and that intelligence and personality is more than degrees at entry level.

      Secondly, it is great that you have taken the initiative and gained agency experience from your internships. From speaking to industry colleagues I understand this is what they typically value most in graduates. Whilst, no agency will expect the finished article from a graduate, a practical understanding of the industry will prove exceptionally valuable.

      In addition, I’d also recommend that you put your best work online, network on and offline and use social media well.

      I’ve put together some more advice on breaking in to the PR industry here which may help:

      If you want to know what the HR bods look for in recruits, check out these top tips from Toni Katsambis, formerly of Edelman:

      Lastly, employers nearly always Google potential staff, so check out this post to ensure only things come up with some Personal SEO techniques:



      • Thank you! As ever, useful advice.

        I’m currently playing around with an online CV in the shape of this:

        I understand you’re a busy man, but if you’re ever bored, it would be great if you could take a quick look? Let me know if you think this is the right kind of thing, or whether it’s a tad primitive?

        No worries if not. Thanks again for your advice! Have a happy and productive 2011!

        Maisie Jeynes

        • Ben Cotton says:

          Hey Maisie,

          Your online CV looks fantastic and certainly puts you at an advantage.

          With the job interview now beginning with a Google search rather than a handshake, I firmly believe blogs and personal websites are the way forward – and the natural evolution of the static and rather staid CV.

          I’ve had a good look through your website and have got a couple of suggestions that you mights useful:

          1. Purchase a .com/ domain name so you can lose the blogspot part of the URL. This looks more professional and is more memorable.

          2. Create a Linked In profile and place a link on your blog. This scores highly on search, is fantastic for networking and allows you look at future employer’s careers (great tip for interviews).

          3. Include a Contact page with email address.

          4. Create a Flickr account with coverage you achieve for clients and personal achievements. This could be embedded on your site and is a great ‘social’ way to share and record achievement.

          5. In terms of content, I would suggest reading PR job advertisements and familiarising yourself with the skills required. Then gradually work these into your work experience blog posts.

          Some of these posts may also help you enhance your online reputation and Personal SEO:

          Good luck with everything in 2011 and let me know how you get on.



      • Hello Ben!

        Thanks for your advice, and thanks for taking the time to actually look at my blog/CV. I will certainly be making the changes you have suggested.

        Have you heard of B-Hive Creative? They offer a competition for paid internships in Marketing and PR (also Advertising and Design). They came into Uni today to do a talk- looked really interesting, so will definitely be applying to that.

        The placements are based at agencies in Birmingham, but I thought it might be useful to promote to other students?

        This is the link to their site!

        Thanks again!


  9. Tom says:

    Hi Ben,

    As I’m currently in my third year and about to enter the race for that graduate role, I was wondering whether you have any advice for us Northerners who are looking at schemes in London?

    I am currently in Yorkshire, and my ideal role would be with Edelman, however I’m worried re: the costs in relocating as I have no friends nor family down south. How did you find the transition and did you have to save up a small fortune first to sustain yourself?

    • Ben Cotton says:

      Hi Tom,

      Great to hear from you.

      I was very lucky that my family home is in a London suburb, so I was able to stay with my parents for a couple of months before saving some money and moving out.

      I won’t lie! It can be difficult in terms of raising a bond and deposit for a place to live in London, on what is likely to be a low salary. But this is also true for the thousands of people who live and work in our capital. That is not meant to sound blasé and I understand it is even more difficult as after 3/4 years studying your student debt may be at its greatest.

      In addition, the lowest rent for a room is probably £500 per month, so you may need to take a loan or increase your overdraft in the short term. Sadly, PR does appear to be a very middle class profession and I expect the bank of mum and dad often help their offspring settle in London.

      The good news is that finding a room will be easy – in my experience Gumtree is a fantastic tool and there are plenty of places you can live. The London room rental market is extremely fluid.

      My advice would to try and save some money ASAP to cushion the blow for your first months rent and deposit, which is normally £1,200 in total.

      I hope this helps?

      Good luck with your final year!



  10. […] big thank you has to go Ben Cotton of Social Web Thing and Sarah Stimson of Offer and Acceptance who have put together and shared […]

  11. […] via Soci… on Why SEO has to be SocialIain on What is Social Media?Maisie Jeynes on 2011 PR Grad SchemesBen Cotton on Fantastic e-portfolio tool int…Ben Cotton on Fantastic e-portfolio tool […]

  12. Hi Ben,

    Firstly, as a third year PR undergrad. I am really grateful that someone in industry has, and is continuing to take time out of their busy schedule to do something like this for up and coming graduates.

    I am curious to know what you think of graduate schemes versus a placement year as part of a sandwich course? I am currently half way through my placement at a social media agency, and I constantly find myself considering my options for after I graduate. I don’t know whether it is worth considering applying for a graduate scheme if I have done something similar as part of my degree.

    I would really appreciate your opinion on this.

    Rebecca Hardisty

    • Ben Cotton says:

      Hi Rebecca,

      I’m pleased you found the list useful. It’s always nice to receive pleasant feedback – I expect this may become an annual post.

      Placement year vs. graduate scheme is an interesting comparison – my own view is that a placement year will equip you with the skills and experience to land that first PR job, which may well be a graduate scheme.

      My own experience of PR graduate schemes is limited to having spoken to colleagues on the Edelman graduate scheme – and without exception they find it a tough, educational and thoroughly enjoyable introduction to the world of PR.

      Graduates also receive mentoring, lots of training and are able to move amongst various departments. It is for these reasons, in particular being exposed to the variety of the industry that I would recommend applying to graduate schemes, as well as junior roles.

      However, if you are really certain of the field of PR you would like to work in e.g. social media, public affairs, consumer etc you may be wiser to go straight for a junior role and avoid spending time in a department that you have little interest in.

      It depends how sure you are on the route you want to take.

      You can find out more info on the Edelman graduate scheme here:

      I hope your placement year goes well!



  13. […] the PR students thanks to the list of PR Graduate Schemes Ben posts on his blog every year (the 2011 list is now […]

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  16. […] you’re a PR grad looking for a job in the PR industry this year Ben Cotton maintains a useful list of graduate schemes. But be warned. Make sure your application does you […]

  17. […] Comments miss.sedley on Edelman Grad Scheme Closing…Graduate job applica… on 2011 PR Grad SchemesMaisie Jeynes on 2011 PR Grad SchemesBen Cotton on 5 Tips to Pitch Yourself to a …Tweets […]

  18. […] you’re a PR grad looking for a job in the PR industry this year Ben Cotton maintains a useful list of graduate schemes. Posted in PR Tags: Graduate recruitment, PR You can follow any responses to this entry through […]

  19. Catherine says:

    Hi Ben,

    I was wondering about two things:

    – Do PR schemes accept deferred entry. So could I apply for a PR scheme 2012/2013, with the intention of starting it in 2014/2015. If I had a good reason, i.e I wanted to do a masters and placement in the states?

    – Do you know where I can find a directory of all the pr firms and creative marketing agencies ie: experiemental marketing, comunictions marketing agencies. so I could contact them directly re: grad schemes,Internships placements and such.As i’m finding it difficult to know which agencies are out there?


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