Most public relations students are presented time and time again with the same question: What types of jobs are available within the public relations industry?
The options for a successful career in public relations are endless. Therefore, answering this question is complex. Most students aren’t sure what they are most interested in, so taking a closer look at the different sections of public relations can really help students identify which one fits them the best.
Corporation conglomerates need an in-house public relations team, non profit organizations need campaigning and fundraising, political groups need publicity and strategizing, and public relations agencies need account managers to service their clientele’s needs, making the options for students interested in public relations limitless.
Corporate public relations groups are responsible for helping their company or organization maintain a positive image in the public eye. This is done by analyzing trends through statistical data and evaluating management issues. This takes great organizational skills, previous work with behavioral statistics and crisis-solving capabilities.
Nonprofit public relations professionals primarily concentrate on creating a successful campaign to bring awareness to a certain issue, and encourage funding through the promotion of their cause and services. This job requires someone with a background in fundraising, who is invested in the cause and can put together a creative campaign that will attract not only funding, but volunteers.
Political public relations professionals help assist candidates with their publicity needs and policy strategy. This job requires someone who has excellent writing skills, someone who can relate to a specific community’s needs and has previous government experience.
Public relations agencies work with a variety of clients, including some from the sections listed above. Someone who works in an agency setting will have several clients accompanied by tight deadlines. It’s important to be versatile and have a creative mindset when working in an agency because there will most likely never be a consistent agenda. This job requires media interaction, research and evaluation of communities and the ability to write and edit content with a quick turnaround.
For a student struggling with finding their fit, the best thing to do is follow the three Rs:
- Research: Make sure to research the sections that interest you the most.
- Reflect: Think about where you see yourself in the future. What do you want to be doing? Which section compliments your skill set the most?
- Reorganize: Once you make a decision, it’s important to reorganize your resume and prioritize what experience you still need to be successful in that career.
One of the benefits of public relations is the vast amount of opportunities it presents. When making a career path decision, don’t be intimidated. Stay focused on your options. Remember, the question isn’t if you’ll be successful, it’s where will you be successful?
Kaley Consford is a junior at Texas State University and serves as the financial adviser for the public relations committee in the Texas State PRSSA Chapter. In her free time, Consford enjoys reading, hiking and watching “The Office.” Follow her on Twitter @KaleyConsford.