Picking Your Poison

With a small glimmer of graduation ahead of me, every late night in the library becomes worth it. With an image of myself in cap and gown, weeping tears of joy that it wasn’t a bad dream, and the only way out was stepping in front of bus. This all comes to reality when deciding which direction of Public Relations (PR) is available to pursue after graduation. There are two aspects of Public Relations, Corporate and Firm both having Pro’s and Con’s.
Starting with corporate, it would be very difficult to find a job without experience and most likely as a college grad there would be little variety at entry level. Growth can be limited unless willing to switch employers, once established in the field. I see that often today amongst my friends , they always say “It’s a stepping stone, I am learning a lot, because I’m always busy, but I can’t stay there forever” Corporate is said, to be slower paced and that you will be involved with executive staff, and part of the ‘big picture”.

In corporate PR, you are expected to have strengths in all areas and you’re working individually most often. You will have the same clients day in and day out, and will become very in tune with their wants and desires. A disadvantage is that there is little change and the tasks can be boring and repetitive for some. When looking into corporate PR, I would equate that with working for a hospital’s communication and public relations manager. They have set projects they produce every year. With campaigns about there company, there target market doesn’t change much each, the main idea is to increase awareness and business. The demographics may change from who the viewer is and how are you going to market to them.

There is little turn over in a secure job with great health benefits and decent starting salary for a college graduate. The benefits out way the deficit in that aspect, yet if looking for a face paced job to work your way to the top, this may not be the place for you.

In Firm PR you can gain expertise quickly, it has recommended to find a mentor because of the rate you will be thrown new projects to work on. You will be working with several clients at the same time. The area is fast paced and offers opportunity for rapid advancement yet entry level salary starts low. You will rarely see the impact of your work for the client. Your ability’s get polished and perfect and you will have opportunities to network with other professionals. Which if desired will lead to better job opportunities that create a high turnover rate in firm PR. You will learn skills like how to do presentations, budgets and establish deadlines.

Friends that have landed jobs in PR Firms have told me “I’m making a lot of connections and networking, but I don’t have time to do anything but work.” There is intense pressure on billable hours which creates high productivity. Budgets and resources can be limited with high emphases on tactical skills and production of materials. With insurance and medial benefits being minimal there is little opportunity for profit sharing and stock options. The can all be irrelevant for a 21 year old college graduate who wants to make it big in PR. Firm PR would be great if you can work your ass off and move your way up quickly, while polishing your skills and learning the ins and outs of how to be successful. Corporate and Firms both have their dragons, it’s just which poison you pick.


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