After paging through chapter four of Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics Ninth Edition, written by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron, I have concluded that a new Public Relations Practitioner should initially pursue a job at a Public Relations Firm. Not to discredit a corporation with a PR section, but from what I have read, a PR firm is suitable training ground for a newbie.
Personally, I didn’t know PR firms existed (actually, I had not known the whole field of PR existed- the revelation came when I was trying to decide on a major). But to tie this directly into the discussion, it can be noted that recent graduates have little to no experience in the PR world (other than fiendishly posting their thoughts on twitter, facebook, etc‒ communication experience at its finest). With this in mind, a PR firm may be the best fit for this sector of employees.
Stacy Nobles gave great insight on the issue. Because she has had much experience in both a PR department and a PR firm, her perspective covers all aspects of the two options.
In regards to a PR firm, Nobles stated, “At an agency, most of the praise I received came from the agency executives. When I made a mistake, I had a team and supervisors to help fix it and teach me how I could’ve done it differently. That also meant a team of professionals who understood my day-to-day work,” (Cameron and Wilcox 120-121).
A PR firm not only has a support system, but it also provides versatility and flexibility. Unfortunately, there are always disadvantages. The salary may be low, regardless of the time and effort put into the project. Residual effects may include more stress than necessary.
Being involved in the PR department of a company does provide some advantages, but for the more experienced crowd. The duties performed are more focused on a specific matter, and the pressures faced may not be as heavy as the pressures in PR firms (granted this is not always the case). Unfortunately, these employees don’t have a support system like a PR firm does.
Nobles makes another statement in regards to a PR department.
“…all of the work I do is my own. I get all of the credit and all of the criticism. I also have to explain the rationale behind my strategies to multiple people without any support. Agency life prepares you to handle things on your own, and to clearly communicate your proposed strategies,” (120).
Whether a new PR Practitioner has experience or not, if he is just starting to enter the PR field, it would be the better choice to start out at a PR firm. Small steps lead to big opportunities!
And of course, here’s some music!