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Considering a Career in PR? Have You Decided Your Specialty?
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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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.

PR specialties
  • 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.) 
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.

How can you prepare?
There are a few questions you can ask yourself before deciding your specialty, including:
  • 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?
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.

And, as always, have fun out there!

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About the Author
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.
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