[By Gagan Sidhu]
PR is a huge industry made up of a variety of jobs which can make finding your passion a daunting task. But with a little research and focus you can clear your lens. All it takes is narrowing your focus to determine which path is right for you. Here, we explore a few possibilities:
Most careers in PR, if not all, include a significant portion of publicity work. Simply put, publicity is the bread-and-butter of PR. Publicists spend their days pitching stories to the media to get widespread coverage and positive exposure for their client. They are responsible for handling media inquiries, interviews and press conferences. Publicity can be a favorable mention in a magazine, a positive review in a newspaper column, or a link to your website on a prevalent blog.
Communications and publicity jobs overlap significantly as one of the main goals of both is to reap public attention. However, communications also entails managing the client’s image as a whole. This involves combining skills in media relations and strategizing key messages to ensure the brand is reputable and the targeted audiences are reached.
Here are some examples of communications professions:
- Crisis communications specialists: Brought in to help a client through a crisis, these people are usually responsible for serving as the official spokesperson at press conferences.
- Press secretaries and political campaign managers: They are well-trained political PR specialists who reiterate key points that portray their candidate favourably to the public. Their key strength is being able to divert attention toward positive news despite media backlash.
- Marketing communications: This branch of PR works closely with the client’s marketing team. The focus is on creating messages to raise awareness of products and special promotions.
Another segment of PR is the role of an educator. After years of experience, many PR professionals become PR consultants or media trainers. They coach corporate executives, spokespeople and political leaders on effective ways to maintain a positive image. Teaching techniques on how to handle the press, understand your audience and create key messages are only some of their attributes.
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