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Public Relations

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Public Relations

Public relations is about developing effective relationships and maintaining a particular image. The reputation, profitability, and success of a product, organization, or even an individual, can depend on public support of their goals, policies or actions. PR is a field focused on creating and advocating a particular image of the product and/or service(s) for the clients that they represent and helping the general public become both aware and engaged with their client. Public Relations work is done in all sectors and work with diverse clients such as hospitals, politicians and multinational companies.

PR professionals are employed in four primary types of organizations.  Keep all types of employers in mind when looking for internship or job opportunities in public relations.

Public Relations Firms

There are hundreds of public relations firms in the U.S. alone, ranging from small boutique firms to those with thousands of employees. Some firms specialize in a particular industry; others are generalists and work with clients from all industries. The web resources in the Related Resources section can assist you in locating firms to target in your job and internship search.

Non-Profit Organizations

Examples include:

  •     Social Service Agencies/Organizations
  •     Museums
  •     Health Care Organizations/Hospitals
  •     Nongovernmental Organizations, Think Tanks, Advocacy Groups
  •     Colleges/Universities
  •     Foundations
  •     Religious Organizations

Government

Examples include:

  •     Federal, State, Local government agencies
  •     Political Campaigns

For-Profit Corporations

Examples include:

  •     Financial Services
  •     Sports Teams, Sports Venues, Sports Associations
  •     Manufacturers/Industry
  •     Technology/Engineering Firms
  •     Medical/Scientific Research Organizations
  •     Entertainment Industry – Film, Radio, Television, Theater
  •     Publishing – Book, Magazine, Newspaper
  •     Hospitality/Tourism Industry – Resorts, Tourist Attractions, Theme Parks
  •     Fashion/Beauty Industry

Things to Consider

Public Relations firms value initiative; if seeking a job or internship in PR, it is important to proactively seek out opportunities rather than waiting for positions to be posted on a job search websites. Focus your search on the types of organizations that most appeal to you, though don’t focus too narrowly, as PR experience is easily transferrable across different types of employers. Establish and maintain contacts at firms or organizations of interest through networking, informational interviewing, and interning. These contacts will help in building a solid foundation in Public Relations and help when you begin looking for full-time opportunities. Additionally, follow firms of interest on social and professional networking sites, and when appropriate, engage them in conversations by commenting on their posts. This will help get the attention of the firms and show your abilities to contribute to the dialogue on trends in the industry, as well as demonstrate your comfort with various social media.

Though the position titles will vary from organization to organization, some common entry level position titles that you may see are: Community Relations Coordinator, Publicity Coordinator, Press Secretary, Speech writer, Public Affairs Officer, Press Agent, Public Information Specialist, Investor Relations Specialist, Development Officer, Account Coordinator, Communications and Media Specialist, Member Relations Officer, Industry Relations Coordinator.

Public relations is about developing effective relationships and maintaining a particular image. PR is a field focused on creating and advocating a particular image of the product and/or service(s) for the clients that they represent and helping the general public become both aware and engaged with their client. Public Relations work is done in all sectors and work with diverse clients such as hospitals, politicians and multinational companies.
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