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What are possible careers in public relations and communications?

I am an 11th grader interested in public relations. I like organizing and managing events, and fundraising. The job I am most familiar with in this field is event planning. I think I would be very good at it and I think I would enjoy it too because I like working with people and being able to be creative. I would like to know more about careers in public relations and get more information about what exactly a public relations professional does. #business #marketing #communications #public-relations #event-planning

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Mallory’s Answer

Hi Maeve,


I can't speak too specifically to the Public Relations portion of your question- however my degree is in Communications and I would be happy to share a few thoughts. I have spent the first few years of my career working in Sales & Marketing related industries. The interesting detail I would add, however, is that I have gotten involved with a lot of organization & event planning related projects outside of my core job both at my current company and I company I worked for previously.


The great thing about Communications is that it allows you to pursue a diverse array of jobs. A Communications degree usually allows you to choose an area of focus. For example, I studied Organizational Communications (because I knew I wanted to work in business), while some of my classmates in college may have studied International Communications, or Media-related Communications. I was drawn to Communications because I am very relational and value interaction with others. Hopefully this helps!

Thank you comment icon Thank you Mallory this was very helpful. It's very encouraging to see that studying Communications can lead to a wide variety of careers! Maeve
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Laura Rose’s Answer

I'm not sure about what someone with a "public relations" title actually does, but If you enjoy planning and managing events, the non-profit world is your oyster. Almost every NGO (even the small ones) have at least one person in charge of fundraising. Event planning is hard work—it takes organization, the ability to corral volunteers and being likable... and not everyone wants to deal with all that. NGOs are not the only workplaces that have a niche for this kind of work.. for profit businesses and governmental organizations do as well.


With all this being said, I suggest figuring out what you're passionate about.. whether it's food, booze, sports, arts, hungry kids, international development or politics! Get as much experience as you can exploring your interests, do a couple internships, and while you're at college make sure to take classes that emphasize experiential learning (service learning classes, field trips, study abroad). Ideally you could end up working for a company/business/organization that shares your passion, and you could be the one planning their events and raising the money that will allow them to continue their work!

Thank you comment icon Thanks for your advice. I have a summer job at a non-profit sailing camp for kids and I am really interested in the fundraising/grants that keep the program running. Maeve
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Christa’s Answer

Hi Maeve,
Reading your post and congratulations on already being so active in Communications so far! Two things that I would recommend considering since you mentioned fundraising are either Corporate Philanthropy or Non-Profit Marketing/Communications. I don't personally have experience in those fields, but have friends and colleagues who do both things. Your interest and passion for event planning combined with fundraising could serve you well in either of these roles - either in corporate giving or in doing the fundraising for a cause that you are passionate about. Good luck!
Christa

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Stephanie’s Answer

Hi there - I have a degree in Mass Communications with minors in Public Relations and Journalism. My first job out of college was as a PR Coordinator at a PR Firm where I worked on creating media lists and writing press releases on behalf of my clients to promote their products. I spent 3 years at PR firms learning the ropes and then joined an internal PR team at a large tech company where I focused on media relations - pitching and placing stories with reporters. That lead to me taking on larger roles and shifting my focus to crisis communications and ghost writing for executives. I am now a VP of Corporate Comms where I continue to focus on working with reporters as well as internal communications - which is storytelling for a company's employees, including working on corporate philanthropy and social impact efforts. I really love my career choice and have found it to be a terrific, fulfilling path. Hope this helps!

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Veronica’s Answer

I majored in Broadcast Communications and Performing Arts, and I do a lot of Event work as well. PR is pretty broad, and it takes a basic sense of people skills coupled with professional speaking, writing skills, etc. One should be well-rounded and verbally expressive, a good communicator. Best Wishes!

Thank you comment icon I think that the skills you mentioned coincide with my strengths. Your job sounds fun! And thanks for your thoughts :) Maeve
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Patti’s Answer

Communications is a versatile and great career path because there are so many options! You asked specifically about event planning - there is a huge need for good event planning across many industries. The skills needed for this include meticulous organization and attention to detail, good project management skills, creativity, problem solving skills, persistence, budget management, and a good sense of humor because there are always curve balls with events. You have to develop a knack for thinking of things before they happen - picturing every possible scenario and being prepared for it.

Bring your energy too, because event planning and execution is a lot of work, and the days can be long, but the pay off in the end when it comes together successfully is so fulfilling. You really feel a sense of accomplishment.

I recommend interning/volunteering for an event planning service or job shadowing someone who does this for a company to really get a sense of it. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that you don't always see or notice.

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Janet’s Answer

Communications can encompass many areas, including internal communications and external communications.

On the internal side, you can work in employee communications and engagement, which may include things like creating internal newsletters, speechwriting, event planning (such as town halls and employee engagement events that boost morale, such as holiday parties), and more!

On the external side, PR can encompass media relations (working with reporters to generate positive press about your company), social media (working with LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other social mediums to promote your company and its products), and coordinating press conferences, media interviews, and public service announcements, as a few examples.

Good luck!
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