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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 website. 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

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 partners with organizations to guide them through a changing, complex global environment, enabling them to thrive and reach their business and societal goals. We bring our clients' work to life through diverse, creative thinking and with a campaign mentality not limited by any particular service or discipline. We focus on creating smart strategies and deliver integrated solutions to achieve success.
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Brodeur Partners

When you can deliver the full experience of your idea, product, brand, candidate or cause, you’ll be relevant. You’ll change minds and behavior. We help you become relevant by working four communications pathways: thinking, sensations, communities, and values.
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Burson-Marsteller

Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising and digital strategies.
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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.
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Chandler Chicco Agency

Chandler Chicco Agency is part of Syneos Health Communications, the only healthcare communications network that is part of a company on the frontlines of healthcare. Our advertising, public relations, medical communications, digital, data science, research and market access specialists have the ability to tap the expertise of clinical and commercial colleagues worldwide to infuse programs with deep therapeutic and analytic insights. We work in scalable, collaborative teams that partner across disciplines and geographies to deliver integrated communications strategies that accelerate brand performance.
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Coyne PR

Coyne PR is one of the Top 10 Independent PR Firms in the United States. Or as we like to say, we’re a firmly independent firm. It allows us to be free thinkers. Free to take chances and think about our clients’ challenges in unexpected ways.
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Edelman

We are a global communications marketing firm that partners with the world's leading businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations.
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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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New York Foundation for the Arts

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) provides the concrete resources that working artists and emerging arts organizations need to thrive. Established in 1971 as an independent organization to serve individual artists throughout the state, the mission of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) is to empower emerging artists and arts organizations across all disciplines at critical stages in their creative lives and professional/organizational development. In 2009, we extended our programs and services throughout the United States and the international community.
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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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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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Padilla

Padilla 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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Ruder Finn Executive Training Program

Ruder Finn’s paid Executive Training Program is for recent college graduates who are interested in beginning a career in public relations. It is well-known throughout the public relations industry.
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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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W2O wcg

An integrated marketing and communication firm working at the intersection of data-driven insights and real industry expertise to deliver unfair advantage for the world’s most transformative healthcare brands.
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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.
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Zeno Group

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