Public relations students are taught many things in the classroom: how to craft the perfect news release, what to do when a crisis occurs and how to remain professional on social media. Students are often left on their own to determine what section of the industry they will enter — nonprofit, education, entertainment, crisis, healthcare and more. With so many options available, it is often difficult for student to narrow their options.
When determining a niche, it is imperative that an aspiring young professional consider each section in public relations. They must weigh their interests and hobbies to calculate which section will be the best area for their skillset. Below is a list of the PRSA Professional Interest Sections available:
- Association/ Nonprofit
- Corporate Communications
- Counselors Academy
- Counselors to Higher Education
- Educators Academy
- Employee Communications
- Entertainment and Sports
- Financial Communications
- Health Academy
- Independent Practitioners Alliance
- New Professionals
- Public Affairs and Government
- Travel and Tourism
Each specialization has their own specificities. Public affairs, for example, focuses on communicating with the nation, fostering support for established policies and laws, managing internal information and serving as an advocate; however, the primary job of a public affairs professional is to inform. This sector of public relations allows professionals who are interested in current events, representing an organization and communicating information an opportunity to flourish in the industry.
For professionals interested in the greater good, the nonprofit sector might be best. In order to work for a nonprofit, a public relations professional ideals should align with that nonprofit’s mission — as they are often the face of the organization. The professional must fully represent the brand of the nonprofit in all of the tactics that they produce. To work for a nonprofit, a public relations professional needs to be organized, dedicated, tactful and knowledgeable.
No matter the sector of public relations a student intends to enter, each area can guarantee personal experiences, professional growth and awesome connections. Each industry has the potential to grow exponentially over the next few years, meaning more jobs will become available.
Natalie Gloady is a senior public relations and sports information major at Waynesburg University. She serves as the public relations director for the Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter, as well as an account executive for the Nationally Affiliated Student-run Firm Red Brick Communications. Follow Natalie on Twitter, or connect with her on LinkedIn.