Being a communication student leads to a lot of silly conversations that I have to bear with. People asking questions like, ”Okay, but what will you do after that?” and “No, but what are you studying? For your career?” really gets on your last nerve. Since when did engineering students have any idea about what they are doing after that?
A lot of people are unaware of what the field of communication has to offer. It is a wide spectrum of sub-fields, which can be the calling for anyone with a creative side.
For those who wish to express themselves, there is journalism, photojournalism, radio, broadcast journalism, etc.
For those who are inclined towards the corporate world, there is public relations, marketing, advertising, etc. All of these require a touch of imagination, and don’t we all possess that?
So communication can be for anyone who wishes to pursue it. It is not like other fields that you have to have a background in before taking it up.
Then again, it is not easy. Everyone has imagination but not everyone knows how to use it well.
That is where communication comes in, to channel that imagination and creativity in you and that is when you truly enjoy being a communication student. Because what is studying without having fun? Sorry, engineering students. We feel your pain.
Why are Public Relations jobs important?
Corporate communication is a widely growing field today. A sub-field of it is organizational communication, which includes public relations, public affairs, corporate advertising, etc. which naturally has its roots from media and communication.
When working in a corporate company, it is important to maintain good relations with the target audience as well as competing companies. It is essential to maintain a good sophisticated image and to be on good terms with all associates in order to help make the company develop. This is the job of the public relations department.
It makes sure that the company is never made to look bad or put in a bad light, has a professional relationship with all its clients and basically handles the communication. This is highly important because a company is only as good as the contentment of its clients. This comes from consistent performance and maintaining a good rapport with them.
Having interned in one of the elite public relations firms, I can say that it wasn’t my best experience. Having a good reputation isn’t all. A firm must have good relations within it to have good relations outside. The employees are what make the firm and as an intern, I was not impressed.
Qualifications for a Public Relations Job
Your education is not completely irrelevant in public relations as it is essential that you are familiar with strategizing, marketing techniques, etc. It also depends on where you work, to some extent.
For example, a person who has studied fashion can work in public relations of a fashion brand. Similarly, someone with a sports background will be comfortable in public relations of a sports company.
But there are certain basic traits and knowledge that is essential for someone who wishes to pursue PR, as I just mentioned.
Employers are impressed by people possessing MBA degrees or Marketing or even Masters in PR because it means that such people already know the things that a lot of people only learn after joining a PR firm, such as basic strategies, various angles of looking at a crisis, etc.
It also helps having a degree in Communication because working in PR also requires writing a lot of press releases and communication with the media and PR is basically about the image of a company or product as projected to the media and other audience, so who better to understand that than a communication student?
Where does a PR professional fit in?
Working in public relations, you either join a firm or you join a company’s PR department.
In my opinion, joining a firm is always a better option. It gives you a variety of clients to deal with, thus making you efficient and organized as you handle more than one client, as opposed to working in a company where your client is the company itself.
In a firm, you are assigned various clients belonging to different categories-for example, fashion, FMCG, finance, etc.-which increases your knowledge in handling PR for different groups.
Advantages of working in a PR role
Since it is such a versatile field that every company, no matter how big or small, needs a PR team, it is a great place to meet people.
It builds your confidence and really helps you grow as you are interacting with new people on a daily basis. You come across the smart minds of various industries and grow with every interaction.
If being in public relations is not the best way to build contacts, I don’t know what is. Various clients lead to various meetings lead to various encounters with important people. Having contacts is a great advantage when working in corporate companies.
Not only creative, but also the field never gets boring. You learn something new every day. It’s not like those monotonous jobs where you’re sitting behind a computer screen, working with numbers. Working in PR leaves you with surprises everyday.
One day you might be writing a press release for your client, the next you could be out on the streets, wandering around shopping for the perfect party favour for your campaign. It never stops being fun.
If you’re lucky, your clients could be fashion brands or FMCG companies so you get free stuff from your clients, and everyone likes gifts, especially after a long day of work.
The best companies for PR jobs
Ranking no. 1 on the Global Top 250 PR Firms 2015 list by The Holmes Report is Edelman, a PR agency based in New York and Chicago, USA.
Some of the other well-known PR agencies that are on this list are Ketchum and Ogilvy PR, which are highly reputed and coveted agencies in India also.
Three India-based PR agencies have also made their way to the top 250 with Adfactors PR ranking 87th, Integral PR Services Pvt. Ltd.ranking 211th, and Creative Crest ranking 208th.
Is a PR career right for you?
There’s no better way to know if PR is for you than picturing yourself in it. If you’re a person who can use your creativity, come up with interesting ideas instantly, and want to be taken into the corporate vortex of the world of glamour, this is the place for you. You belong in PR.
There is nothing more satisfying than being a part of what goes on behind all those fashion brands and corporate companies and having made your own contribution to the company for where it stands on the corporate ladder.
Public relations is a mix of communication and marketing. Which is what makes it even more interesting. It is an idea coupled with imagination.
In this day and age, wherein there are so many new innovative products on the market, it gets more and more difficult for PR employees to think of new ways to campaign for their clients.
There always has to be a wow factor, to make their campaign stand out. Every new project is a new challenge. And that is what public relations is all about.
Are you up for the challenge?