Career Aspirations in PR


Some brief history about careers for PR has been said to have been around for centuries.  According to the Institute for Career Research (2005) in the United States, developers and settlers of the original 13 colonies were the first PR people, urging others to make their fortune in the New World. Also, later residents stated their grievances against British rule and made the case for independence, not only internally– rallying citizens to the cause—but externally, gaining allies abroad. Diplomats, politicians, pamphleteers and landowners all practiced public relations to form the new nation.

The Institute for Career Research (2005) noted that, one of the biggest parts of any public relations job is trying to place stories in the media. You have to think everything through, imagining all the negatives as well as the positives. As stated by (Hunt 2006) there is a wide range of career opportunities for people working in public relations including such jobs as media relation specialist for an insurance company, newsletter editor for an urban renewal agency, special events coordinator for a hotel, sports information director for a university, writer-editor for a public relations agency, community relations coordinator for a hospital, fund-raiser for the American Red Cross, speechwriter for a U.S. senator, and freelancer specializing in the preparation of video news releases. With all of these different job titles they all possess different responsibilities.

The more traditional way of looking at jobs within the ever changing field of PR is a view of the hierarchy of roles in the profession being, an entry-level technician which is someone who uses skills to disseminate information, persuade, gather data, or solicit feedback. The role of a supervisor is another doing exactly what the title means by supervising. There’s a manager in which their job is constituency and issue-trend analysis, departmental management, including organizing, budgeting, leading, controlling, evaluating, and problem solving.

A director has a similar job but they are also involved with communication and operational planning at departmental level. The top role is of an executive which is involved in organizational leadership and management, including developing the organizational vision, corporate mission, strategic objectives, annual goal, businesses, broad strategies, policies and systems.

There is always the possibility of those that have a career in PR to bounce around these organizational roles. If one was to seeking to break into a PR profession there were 11 tips that were advised by (Ellen 2011) which was to: “1. Think strategically, what is your end goal and how do you get there. 2. Seek internships, 3. Set yourself up for success, 4. Communicate with communicators, 5. Study the thought leaders, 6. Innovate, 7. Learn something new, 8. Show kindness, 9.Follow journalist, 10. Know your strengths and weaknesses and focus on your strengths, and 11. Create your personal brand.” With that being said a person entering the field of public relations has the oppurtunity to develop a career that encompasses numerous areas of an increasingly diverse profession. Some specific areas that you may find a PR professional working in would be corporations, non-profits/charities, education, professional services, government, public relation firms, or self-employed/freelance. If an individual does have career aspirations within the field of PR, there is no doubt it is endless possibilities to do so.


Ellen, M. (2011, March 20). How to get a job in Public Relations: Eleven tips from a PR pro – See more at: In MarketingMel. Retrieved April 6, 2014, from

Hunt, T. (2006). Public Relations, Careers in. Encyclopedia of Communication and Information3, 786-788. Retrieved April 6, 2014, from

Institute for Career, R. (2005). Careers in Public Relations (Institute Research ed., Vol. 136). Chicago: Institute for Research.

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