TOW: PR Department v. PR Firm

As a new PR practitioner you have choices on how to begin your career, whether it be in a PR department or in a PR firm. But which one is more beneficial? Firstly, as a member of a PR department your tasks may include…

  • planning PR campaigns and strategy
  • monitoring public and media perception of the client or employer
  • writing and editing leaflets, brochures, press releases, speeches, newsletters and websites
  • assisting in arranging events like press launches, news conferences, exhibitions, open days and sponsorship
  • help developing good working relationships with the media
  • arranging for advertising or promotional films to be produced
  • representing the company or client at events.

 Secondly, as a member of a public relations firm you could end up working for a wide range of clients  including corporations, trade associations, governments and even some non-profit advocacy groups. Some PR campaigns could genuinely be characterized as being in the broad public interest, such as campaigns against smoking or crisis communications aimed at minimizing the impact of natural disasters. However, PR skills don’t come cheap, so PR firms typically gravitate towards those with the most money which are generally corporations. Many times you will assist in a PR campaign that is designed to boost the public profile and sales of products. The most controversial however, are those aimed at shaping public opinion when it comes to things such as environment or public health and safety.

When working for a PR Department you’ll be working as part of a team in a specific business/corporation, whereas when working for a PR Firm your team will be hired by different companies who need your assistance. Personally, I would work in a PR Department for my first job, it just seems like a more stable environment. The duties of a PR Firm seem to be more geared for those who already have a good chunk of public relations experience under their belt. This is not to say that you shouldn’t take a job in a firm for you’re first job, I just personally believe that a first job in PR would be more well suited in a department.

DirectGov, and Skills Funding Agency. “Public Relations – All Information.” Helping You Get on in Work and Life. DirectGov – Next Step, 2010. Web. 05 Oct. 2011. <;.