Department or Firm? Where To Get Your Start In PR

When beginning a new career it is important to set yourself up for a good start. In any career it is important to set yourself up for success by going after the right environment for you to learn, grow, and get to know others. With this comes the question of whether a person should try to get their start in a PR department or a PR firm. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each.

Pros of working for a PR department:

  • You gain a sense of pride and loyalty to a company or organization that comes as you work for it.
  • You may feel greater pressure to perform your job well because it will affect the people you work with day in and day out in the company or organization. This will help you to be a better practitioner.
  • You can work for a company or organization that you really believe in and help to make it even better over the long haul.
  • There are generally good paying salaries, extensive health and insurance benefits, and widespread resources.
  • There is the opportunity to work with a group of professional peers.
  • There is job stability when you work for a PR department.

Pros of working for a PR firm:

  • It can be fun and exciting always working with many different companies and organizations.
  • You have to be sharp and always learning about how companies and organizations run. In other words, it keeps you on your toes.
  • You are exposed to a variety of different clients and a breadth of different strategies.
  • It gives you access to lots of experienced mentors in your field.
  • It increases compradore in the field.

Cons of working for a PR department:

  • There may be a laborious approval process before producing or disseminating information.
  • Management may lack understanding of the PR function.
  • There may be a lack of advancement opportunities.
  • There may be little change in the routine of activities over time.
  • Difficult to obtain without experience.
  • Growth is limited.

Cons of working for a PR firm:

  • There is pressure of working on several projects from different clients at one time.
  • It is difficult to give every client your undivided attention as is often demanded.
  • Many have less time off.
  • Budgets can be limited.
  • The salary could be low at entry level.

I personally would choose to get a start working for a PR firm so that I can be surrounded by many mentors and feel like I am able to learn all the different aspects of PR from the many different challenges that a firm is presented with and the many practitioners who have experience. After learning even more at a firm in a few years, I would try to work for an organization that I want to see succeed.

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