Public relations professionals are responsible for shaping people's viewpoints—how the consumer, the competition, the international community and the average person on the street see a client. PR practitioners are hired by politicians, entertainers, major corporations, nonprofit organizations and even the United States government to serve as liaisons and policy communicators.
Public relations professionals provide a variety of services for their clients, from writing press releases to planning special events to monitoring how a company is covered in the media. PR work varies greatly depending upon the target audience. PR includes corporate relations, which conveys business issues to employees, stockholders and investors; community relations, which covers company interaction with local, national and international populations; and marketing communication, which ensures that a company and its products receive media coverage.
In the field of public relations, there are four major types of employers:
- In-house PR Departments/Corporate Communications
- Nonprofit Public Relations
- Public Relations Agencies
- Government Agencies and Offices
Public relations majors typically enter the profession as account coordinators, who assist account executives. Assistant account executives, account executives and senior account executives are the next career steps. After agency work, many account executives move into corporate communications.