|Considering a Career in PR? Have You Decided Your Specialty?
By: Jeannine Wheeler
If you’re preparing for a career in PR, have you considered where you would want to specialize? Although many PR positions will traverse a number of specialties — especially in the beginning of your career — there is the opportunity to focus exclusively on one sector of PR or another.
Another major consideration is whether you’re best suited to agency life or an in-house position at a business or organization. You’ll need a particular temperament for both; consider that agency life can be more fast-paced, less stable and more demanding than an in-house position.
- Crisis management and reputation repair
- Investor relations
- Corporate communications
- Internal communications
- Event planning
- Entertainment PR
- Literary publicist
- Sports marketing
- Public affairs/grassroots/lobbying
- Community relations
- Media relations
- Non-profit relations
- Advocacy PR (pro- or anti-controversial issues like energy, animal testing, abortion, etc.)
- Content marketing and native advertising
- Integrated marketing communications
- Industry specialization (healthcare, tech, music, academia, government, etc.)
How can you prepare?
There are a few questions you can ask yourself before deciding your specialty, including:
Whichever specialty you choose, you will need to be well aware that social and digital media have had a profound effect over the entire industry so it’s good to keep up on industry trends, take advantage of webinars and lectures, and find mentors who can help direct your career.
- What do you like to do when you’re not at work or school?
- When you read articles or nonfiction books, what are they about?
- What is your favorite way to spend your free time?
- If you could be or do anything in the world, what would it be?
- Do you have hobbies that could be more than a passion?
And, as always, have fun out there!
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.