Whenever I tell anyone that I am in school for public relations they don’t know what it is, once I begin to explain to them further what it is and some of the tasks that are involved they always follow up with but what can you do with that? This is a funny question I have been asked multiple times since September when I started my post graduate degree. The answer to the question – at least the one I give does not satisfy anyone’s question further, simply because I say the possibilities are endless.
I was exposed to public relations in my time in University, our professor was a former PR pro that would share his many stories about what it was like to work in the industry. Granted his job was more glamorous since he did work for Toronto Raptors and Maple Leafs, so his stories were more exciting than the average PR story. It was clear from the start that not one day is the same, it’s not like your typical 9 to 5 job where you input data all day and look forward to lunch to catch a break from the mundane task.
If you are the type of person that gets bored easily, this is the job for you since it won’t have you doing the same tasks day to day. One day you can be working with marketing over branding strategies, the next day working with your team to plan a fundraiser, developing employee newsletters or even working on a crisis when a disgruntled employee tweeted out in anger for the company. Even job titles can vary from relations specialist, PR specialist, communications specialist, media relations, etc.
Not only are the tasks that you do diverse but the industry in which you work for can be anything! PR is all about managing an image and building a relationship with the public, this means that every company uses/needs some form of PR. Jobs can be found in all 3 major sectors, from not-for-profit, business and government. This is where you get to align the profession with your passion, interests or major; this allows you to really build upon the skills you acquired in university and work within an area that you feel passionate about.
I think this is what is confusing for some people to grasp when you explain to them you are in public relations, the fact that your options are limitless and they want a clear defined in the box answer. This is why PR is one of the best jobs out there today, it’s a growing industry that is never solid, always fluid, changing and adapting to the times. What you do today is not what you will be doing a year from now.
I can tell you right now, I have no idea what to do yet career wise with where I want to start, which industry or company. But I know that PR was the right choice since it will allow me the flexibility to do many different things in the span of my hopefully long career in public relations. I can’t wait to graduate and hit the ground running looking for unique opportunities that come my way.