What To Expect From Marketing and PR Job Roles Within the Agricultural Sector
When we think of the agricultural sector and the wealth of jobs and opportunities which it brings to the UK economy, there will be a few obvious ones which spring to mind. Most people will start to think about the various different types of farm labourers and managers, farm vets, mechanical engineers, fruit pickers and warehouse staff. Get a bit more adventurous with your thinking and you might start to list breeding consultants, lab technicians or harvest managers.
Many people will forget that in addition to these specialist roles, agricultural companies still require the same core skills and departments as most other industries, be it salespeople, HR managers or marketing and PR professionals.
Everyone has to eat in order to survive, so it easy to forget that there is a whole agricultural mechanism behind the food and produce we see lining the supermarket shelves each day. Just like in every other successful type of business, marketing and PR managers have an incredibly important role to play in the agricultural sector.
Within agricultural businesses, there is still very much a need to communicate the messages of the business to the industry, press or wider public. Even if the firm deals only with business clients, rather than selling directly to the consumer, marketing will play a big part in acquiring new business, and PR will be vital in establishing, protecting and maintaining the business’s reputation. There will be unique challenges of performing these tasks in the agricultural industry, but many of the guiding principles and day-to-day responsibilities will be similar to those experienced in all industries and sectors.
What qualifications do you need?
Agricultural graduate jobs do not have to be restricted to those who have studied at agricultural college, or with degrees in technical disciplines. Anyone with a degree or professional qualifications in marketing or PR would find it easy to transition into a role in the agricultural sector.
Businesses will often ask for candidates to be able to demonstrate their prior successes in previous professional marketing roles, but there will always be entry-level opportunities across the sector too.
Marketers and PR advisors will always have strong analytical skills, be good at looking at campaigns from a critical point of view and will be able to think quickly to solve problems or come up with new ideas. Many successful marketers have a clear and solid understanding of statistics and analytics so that they are able to assess the success or failure of previous campaigns.
In PR, in particular, you never know what is going to come your way, so you have to be ready to think on your feet and be flexible and adaptable each and every day. This can cause a high-pressure environment, with some hard and fixed deadlines which must be met. Candidates for these roles will, therefore, need to prove that they can work well under potentially stressful conditions and that they will not be deterred by the pressure of deadlines.
Strong communication skills are a must, as marketers and PR professionals constantly need to translate the corporate values and goals of a company into language which entices and persuades the consumer or client. These people must be able to write well and have strong cultural awareness in order to be able to communicate with a wide variety of different people, all of whom will have different interests, priorities and concerns.
And last, but certainly not least, if you are looking for a role in the agricultural sector, a working knowledge and understanding of the industry is imperative. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert to begin with, but candidates for agribusiness marketing and PR vacancies will need to demonstrate an interest in farming and agriculture and a knowledge of its unique strengths and challenges.
Your key responsibilities
For both marketing and PR professionals, coming up with and running campaigns is likely to form the basis of what you do, whether these are reacting to news in the market, ongoing campaigns to raise brand awareness or ahead of a new launch or key date. Both initiating and maintaining these campaigns could require liaising with many different parts of the business, and potentially external companies or agencies. There is usually a need to critically assess the performance of previous campaigns in order to learn from them. This could involve using specialist tools to design, track and report on the different campaigns.
Working from home
Many marketing and PR roles within the agricultural sector are home-based roles. Each company will have a different reason for doing this, but offices can be costly to run and the location of many firms makes recruiting for rural jobs more difficult. Home-based roles solve many different problems and allow people from all over, regardless of their location or circumstances, to apply for roles.
For candidates, home-based roles also open up opportunities with companies based all across the country. Breaking down the geographical barrier and allowing talented people to have more say about what they want to do. It can be a fantastic way of working for well-regarded and internationally successful companies, without having to relocate.
But working from home is not for everyone. It can be isolating, especially for extroverted people who thrive on the company of others to energise them. On the other hand, for some it is a breath of fresh air and gives them the freedom to think clearly and effectively without being muddled by external factors. It can also be extremely helpful for those balancing work and childcare commitments, who benefit from flexible working hours and a non-existent commute.
Even with roles which are completely home-based, there could always be the possibility that marketers and PR advisors are required to travel, either to their company’s own offices or to partner firms, potential clients or existing suppliers. It is worth checking during an application how much travel will be expected of you, as this could make the job more or less appealing depending on what you are looking for.
If a marketing or PR role in agriculture sounds like it's for you, why not check out the jobs that we have available at Agricultural Recruitment Specialists website today: www.agriRS.co.uk