In the world of PR, many people believe there are limits to the jobs you can hold upon graduation. You can be a PR specialist, some level of account manager, possibly an event planner and of course you must work at a PR firm. This could not be more inaccurate.
Public relations is a vast field that can get you in to almost anything. Especially with the background that E.W. Scripps provides you, as long as you are good at what you do and have lots of experience, your future career possibilities are truly endless.
An understanding of public relations shows that you can work with the public, understand their needs, the business’ needs and problem-solve. These are all extremely valuable assets to any company, not just PR companies.
Here are some off-the-beaten-path career routes you could end up in with your journalism/PR degree.
Suggestion: if you choose to take one of these routes, you will need to have some other qualifications in that specific field (specialization, minor or internship experience), since these aren’t just about PR.
1. Recruiter Recruiters (aka “headhunters”) get paid to stalk. They do background checks, interviews, meetings and they know every single piece of work the person they are stalking has ever done. Think of Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits. She was an executive recruiter. After the stalking is complete, you sell this person to a company so they can bring that company hundreds of thousands of dollars and you can get your thousands. To become a recruiter, you need to have experience with recruitment (you could find this through an internship with an entertainment agency). Recruiter’s typically don’t have a specific field they graduate from, but most have a background in public relations, business and marketing.
2. Agent Agents are different than recruiters. Recruiters work for the business, agents work for the people they are representing. An agent will recruit talent to keep them, not to sell them. Agents can also work at the agency, corporate or private level, similar to PR professionals. To become an agent you need to have the same background as a recruiter, as well as experience in the field which you can obtain through an entertainment agency. Recruiters and agents must be determined to create their own brand.
3. Consultant A consultant is great for those who enjoy a challenge because it can be very fulfilling. A consultant understands management and strategy involving a business problem and they find the best solution. So for you problem-solvers out there, this could be the job for you.
4. Buyer (Purchasing Agent) How would you like to go shopping for a living? A buyer is an awesome career for you somewhat-controlled shopaholics. Buyers must understand the consumer preferences and know all the latest trends because they will be stocking major department stores or a retail chain. They must also know how to manage a budget, seek out vendors and beat the competition. This normally requires a public relations, business or fashion background.
5. Lobbyist For those interested in politics, this is a dream job. Lobbyists contact members of Congress and other elected officials to persuade them to support legislation favorable to their clients. This job would pair well with a minor or specialization in political science. There is also a wide degree of creativity allowed.
6. Editor This is something a lot of people in journalism start out to have dreams of being, and then realize there’s more to journalism than just writing or reporting. An editor writes, edits and proofreads a variety of documents. An English minor or specialization would provide a great background for this. An editor typically reports to a supervisor or manager.
7. Funeral Director A little on the depressing side, but funeral directors make good money. This position requires a lot of planning, directing and coordinating. A business background would be great as well as public relations because the director must be able to determine prices as well.
8. Corporate Travel Manager This one is for the thrill seekers. This one requires a background in public relations as well as a background in business, travel or management. Travel managers make group travel arrangements for different companies as well as arrange flights and hotels for customers. Internship experience in the travel industry is essential to landing this position.
These are just a few of the many fields you can enter with a public relations background. Of course, as with any job, there are pros and cons to each of these and previous experience in the field is required. The important thing to remember is that you are not limited to PR firms once you graduate. Explore your options!
-Meagan Dixon is a senior studying public relations with a business minor and a sociology specialization. Follow her on Twitter @meagdixon