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Public Relations

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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.

Related Career Links

FEATURED

Zeno Group

The Zeno Group is a global, mid-sized, integrated communications agency, born from PR.
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5W Public Relations

Since 2003, New York City-based 5W Public Relations (5W) has worked with world-class and emerging brands, corporations, consumer companies, technology companies of all shapes and sizes, healthcare interests, regional businesses, non-profits, and high profile individuals to help them achieve their strategic public relations and marketing objectives across a broad range of interests.
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Allison+Partners

Allison+Partners is a fast-growing global communications firm, where daring creativity leads the way. Their ability to harness creativity to move communications from awareness generator to performance driver is unmatched. Reimagining what communications can make possible is a given for Allison+Partners.
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APCO Worldwide

APCO Worldwide is a global communications consultancy. Their mission is to enable clients to achieve their objectives through insightful counsel, authentic advocacy and creative communications; to counsel clients on the opportunities and challenges of a global marketplace and engaged stakeholders in times of transformational change; and to partner with clients to add value to their enterprises and benefit society.
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Atomic PR

Atomic is a data-driven creative communications agency specializing in PR, Social and Digital solutions largely for consumer and tech brands.
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Brodeur Partners

Brodeur Partners is a communications agency. Their approach is centered on helping clients become—and remain—relevant in an increasingly noisy and turbulent environment.
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Burson-Marsteller

Burson-Marsteller is a leading global public relations and communications firm. Burson-Marsteller's strategic insights and innovative programming build and sustain strong corporate and brand reputations. They provide clients with counsel and program development across the spectrum of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, digital strategy, advertising and other communications services.
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Center for Communication

The Center for Communication is a nonprofit supported by major media companies to bring more diversity to the media industry and give students access to influential figures who can speak about the business today. The Center’s mission is to better prepare students for careers in media by connecting them with the best minds in media and offering free seminars, featuring outstanding media leaders, who join with us to better inform college students on the ever-evolving media industry. Center seminars cover all aspects and all fields of media, including journalism, television production, documentary and feature filmmaking, social media, magazine and book publishing, advertising, PR and marketing, First Amendment issues, ethics and standards.
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Chandler Chicco Agency Graduate Training Program

Chandler Chicco Agency (CCA) is a pioneer in the global health communications space. Their reputation for doing some of the best work in the industry is unmatched and stems from our dedication to the world of health, as well as staying ahead of those around us. From patient advocacy and disease awareness to issues management and commercialization, CCA's unparalleled insight, depth of experience and entrepreneurial spirit drives the company to create inspired and visionary solutions.
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Cooney/Waters

As experts in healthcare marketing communications, Cooney/Waters has been deep in the industry since 1992. They have been exclusively focused on health and science across therapeutic areas and health sectors, providing a full range of public relations and public affairs services to healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology enterprises in nonprofit, government and industrial sectors throughout the world.
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Coyne PR

Coyne Public Relations is a full-service public relations agency, representing some of the world's most prominent brands including The Walt Disney Company, The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, Shell Lubricants, Medco Health Solutions, Inc., Mary Kay, The Campbell Soup Company, Kraft Foods, General Mills, and Hard Rock International. These companies look to Coyne PR to create high-profile public relations programs that deliver significant results and help them achieve their marketing communication and business goals.
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Edelman

Edelman is a leading global communications marketing firm that partners with many of the world’s largest and emerging businesses and organizations, helping them evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. Edelman owns specialty firms Edelman Intelligence (research) and United Entertainment Group (entertainment, sports, experiential), a joint venture with United Talent Agency.
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FleishmanHillard

FleishmanHillard is the world’s most complete communications firm, specializing in public relations, public affairs, marketing, paid media, and transmedia and social content.
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G&S Business Communications

G&S Business Communications helps clients compete in a global marketplace that demands smarter thinking and purposeful innovation. With strategic public relations and marketing communications programs, they build enduring relationships for your business and brands along the entire value chain. From increasing sales to enhancing reputations, they inspire action that drives results.
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Havas Worldwide

Havas' mission is to be the world’s best company at creating meaningful connections between people and brands using creativity, media and innovation.
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Hill+Knowlton Strategies

Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Inc. is a leading international communications consultancy, providing services to local, multinational and global clients. The firm is headquartered in New York, with 87 offices in 49 countries, as well as an extensive associate network. Hill+Knowlton Strategies is part of WPP, one of the world's largest communications services groups.
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Hunter Public Relations

Hunter Public Relations is an award-winning consumer products PR firm located in New York City. Their equity-building programs, social media, strategic partnerships and influencer seeding help some of America’s most iconic brands – current and future – increase their relevance to target consumers.
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ICR

ICR is a strategic communications and advisory firm for company leaders who are serious about building and protecting the value of their businesses.
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Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications

Jasculca Terman Strategic Communications (JT) is an award winning, independently owned strategic communications firm specializing in public affairs, event management, crisis communications and digital strategies. JT serves as a strategic communications partner to corporate, institutional, not-for-profit and public-sector clients across the Midwest, the United States and abroad.
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Ketchum

Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. Ketchum has been named PR Agency of the Year (and European Excellence Awards) and the winner of an unprecedented three consecutive Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations.
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Leo Burnett Worldwide

Part of Publicis Communications, Leo Burnett Worldwide is one of the world's largest agency networks with 85 offices and more than 8,000 employees. The global agency works with some of the world's most valued brands including Coca-Cola, Fiat, Kellogg's, KraftHeinz, McDonald's, MillerCoors, Nintendo, P&G, Samsung and Tata among others.
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Mashable

Mashable is a global, multi-platform media and entertainment company. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe.
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Mediabistro

Mediabistro is the premier media job listings site and career destination for savvy media professionals. Whether you’re searching for new job opportunities, striving to advance your career, or looking to learn new skills and develop valuable expertise, we are here to strengthen and support your professional journey. We have the tools and resources to help you navigate your own path and find career happiness.
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MSLGROUP North America

MSLGROUP in North America is part of MSLGROUP, Publicis Groupe’s strategic communications and engagement group. They are a next-generation agency network that creates and celebrates data-driven big ideas and communications solutions in the digital age.
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MSLGROUP Qorvis

In 2013, D.C.-based Qorvis Communications joined forces with MSLGROUP, one of the largest public relations firms in the world, forming a fully integrated strategic communications firm with global reach and extensive expertise.
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MWWPR

MWWPR is one of the world’s leading independent public relations agencies. The agency focuses on six distinct practice areas in which our people have deep knowledge and understanding: Consumer, Technology, Corporate Communications, Public Affairs/Issues Management, LGBT, and Health and Wellness.
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Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide

Ogilvy & Mather is one of the largest marketing communications networks in the world. The company is divided into a number of specialty units in the following fields: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; healthcare communications; consulting; research and analytics capabilities; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing.
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Opportunities in Public Affairs

Opportunities in Public Affairs is the #1 source of Capitol Hill Jobs, Legislative jobs, and Public Affairs and PR jobs in the Washington, DC area and nationwide.
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O’Dwyer’s Public Relations News

O'Dwyer's is the leading source for news on public relations, PR firms, and marketing communications. In addition to the free and subscriber content on our website, we also publish our news in a weekly PR newsletter and a monthly magazine that focuses each month's issue on a specific specialty or industry trend.
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PadillaCRT

PadillaCRT builds brands, protects reputations, creates high-impact communication strategies, and delivers fresh ideas that inspire action among consumers, investors, employees, community leaders and other people pivotal to our clients'​ success.
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Peppercomm

Peppercomm helps clients see around the corner so they can push boundaries, mitigate risk, and build business. Core competencies include insights and strategy, integrated marketing, experiential, digital/social communications, creative services, licensing, PR, research and measurement and more.
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Porter Novelli

Porter Novelli is one of the world’s leading public relations agencies. With 90 offices in nearly 60 countries, Porter Novelli delivers best-in-class service to clients around the globe. As the agency that pioneered social marketing, Porter Novelli’s heritage is grounded in influence – motivating people to change deeply ingrained behaviors that are rooted in cultural and social norms.
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PR Council

The PR Council's mission is to advocate for and advance the business of communications firms by building the market and the value of firms as strategic business partners.
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PR Week

PRWeek epitomizes the modern business publishing brand, spanning online, print, events, and social media, incorporating a paid-for content strategy and gated website. Launched in November 1998, it is the essential title for PR professionals in the US.
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Public Affairs Council

The Public Affairs Council is the leading nonpartisan, nonpolitical association for public affairs professionals worldwide. Launched in 1954, their mission is to advance the field of public affairs and to provide members with the executive education and expertise they need to succeed while maintaining the highest ethical standards.
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Public Relations Society of America

The Public Relations Society of America's mission is to help communications professionals become smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career. PRSA provides professional development, sets standards of excellence, upholds principles of ethics, and acts as one of the industry’s leading voices.
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Public Relations Student Society of America

The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. They seek to advance the public relations profession by nurturing generations of future professionals. PRSSA advocates rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession.
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RF Binder Associates Program

RF Binder's mission is to help you connect with others through your story, to help you build a stronger, more powerful brand that solves critical problems and elevates its purpose.
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Ruder Finn Executive Training Program

Ruder Finn is one of the largest independent global communications agencies, maintaining offices across the U.S., Europe and Asia. With approximately 500 employees globally, Ruder Finn serves the global and local communications needs of over 250 corporations, governments and non-profit organizations.
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SHIFT Communications

SHIFT is a data-driven PR agency with offices in Boston, NYC, Austin, and San Francisco, guided by 150 creative and smart SHIFTers across the country. The agency represents some of the best-known enterprise and consumer brands, including Citrix, RSA Conference, Orchard Supply Hardware and the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau.
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SparkPR

Since 1999, Spark has emerged as one of the most respected public relations and integrated marketing agencies in the world. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the agency driven by our entrepreneurial spirit, a love of technology and an agile approach to developing our clients’ narratives.
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Tackl, Non-STEM career kickstarter

Tackl is a data driven university-recruiting platform that connects liberal arts, social science, humanities and other non-STEM college students with more job/internship opportunities. The platform personalizes the recruiting process by matching and placing students with jobs/internships from start to finish.
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Text100 Global PR

Over the past 35 years, Text100 has been helping disrupters open up existing markets and the disrupted navigate new ones.
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The Hoffman Agency

The Hoffman Agency helps corporate, technology, telecommunications, consumer electronics and travel companies communicate compelling messages across the globe.
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The Holmes Report

The Holmes Report is the authoritative voice of the global public relations industry, dedicated to proving and improving the value of public relations by providing insight, knowledge and recognition to public relations professionals.
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The Zimmerman Agency

The Zimmerman Agency comprises advertising, public relations and digital services all working under one roof.
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WCG

WCG is a global communications company that empowers you to connect with audiences in ways that are both meaningful and relevant. The company's fully integrated communications, creative and interactive services bring messages to customers - wherever they are.
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WE Communications

WE is a Seattle-based public relations firm often associated with its largest client, Microsoft. The firm was founded in 1983 by Melissa Waggener Zorkin and Pam Edstrom. WE provides PR services for companies including Microsoft, Volvo, ZTE, Allrecipes, Boehringer Ingelheim, VSP, Zoom+, Cole Haan, Pernod Ricard, Lucid and Kymeta.
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Weber Shandwick Worldwide

Weber Shandwick is a leading global communications and engagement firm in 79 cities across 34 countries, with a network extending to 127 cities in 81 countries. The firm’s diverse team of strategists, analysts, producers, designers, developers and campaign activators has won the most prestigious awards in the world for innovative, creative approaches and impactful work.
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Young & Rubicam

Y&R is one of the leading global marketing communications companies, with more than 190 offices in 90+ countries.