As we’ve said before, PR is not for the weak of heart. It takes patience and thousands of hours logged in before you feel you “own” your job. A large part of that is finding your “calling” within the vast world of public relations and representation.
Public relations may feel like the natural job choice, whether you’ve been in the game for five days or five years, but it can take quite a while to figure out which area of PR you want to focus your career on. For me, it happened somewhat on accident. As an intern, I was spread across many accounts in many different areas – beauty PR, consumer brands, magazine and publication representation, even some healthcare. Having a taste of all these different specialties lead me to my “expertise” today. Here’s a look into some of the top concentrations within PR, to help you determine where your calling may be:
Beauty PR – Working primarily with beauty brands, makeup artists or haircare. If you are a product junkie or love women’s magazines and can talk your way through anti-aging regimens and pleat skirts, give Beauty or Fashion a try. Must LOVE talking to media on a daily basis, learning about and testing beauty products, creative writing for releases. Must be able to stand beauty awards, industry events, networking and doing giftbags and mailers well into your senior levels.
Consumer brand PR – Similar to beauty, working with large corporations to represent their lifestyle brands, whether that be in sports, food, wine, liquor, toys, video games, you name it. Must LOVE speaking on behalf of a large company, learning the ins-and-outs of your client and monitoring for industry trends. Must be able to stand client relations, teaching the media about new products, a unique blend of products (one day it could be Nike, the other day it could be Land O’Lakes. Both special in their own way).
Healthcare PR – Representing healthcare agencies or pharmaceutical brands. Must LOVE feeling as though you are making a difference, helping others and educating the media. Must be able to stand late nights/early mornings per FDA announcements, intense media monitoring, sometimes stressful client-media relations/crisis
Fashion/Entertainment PR – Representing a celebrity, fashion house or entertainment business to the national and short lead media. Write and speak primarily on behalf of your individual client, whether that’s Brad Pitt or Marc Jacobs. Must LOVE crazy days, spontaneity and whirlwind lifestyle. Must be able to stand laaaaate nights, admin tasks, celebrity requests.
Financial PR – Similar to healthcare, representing a financial firm to the national media, in times of crisis and in times of prosperity. Must LOVE a regimented schedule, tactical writing and planning, crisis management. If you are a Type A (as I am, I swear Financial PR was my second calling!), Financial might be the best PR for you. Must be able to stand sometimes dry writing or program development, pushy or just-plain-mean media.