Public Relations is everywhere – it is multifaceted and present in every industry. This is actually one of the key reasons I decided to pursue a career in public relations – because of how pervasive it is. Public Relations, although it isn’t always specifically called that, is present in the health, entertainment, political, energy, food, fashion, education and much more, industries. And as noted, there are also many facets to it – including, crisis communication, media relations, event planning, employee relations, corporate social responsibility and more. And it is this multifaceted and pervasive quality of public relations that sometimes makes it difficult for individuals to figure out the right fit for them within the field. However, considering a few key questions, should help one find their perfect fit within the public relations world.
- What Are Your Strengths – This is self-explanatory and seems obvious enough, but it is really always the best place to start. One should honestly consider what they are particularly good at (not what you think you’re good at) and that will very likely lead them to their perfect job. For example, do you have excellent research skills, interpersonal skills, a great multitasker, excellent attention to detail? While one may argue that these are all important qualities in general and all things a successful public relations practitioner should possess, the truth is a person is rarely amazing at every single skill and quality. So consider the ones that you are most adept at, to help figure out the right fit for you.
- What Are Your Interests – Once again, it seems simple enough but you may be surprised the number of people who do not consider this or not realize how it could function into their career in public relations. For example, are you an avid book lover/reader – then perhaps the right fit for you is practicing within the publishing/book industry or maybe you are passionate about sports, and so your fit may be within the sports industry. Similarly, do you love to entertain and planning social events, then your fit may be event planning.
- Find A Way To Marry Your Interests – So you have thought about your strengths and interests and found that you love both entertainment and nonprofit work, or you are excellent at crisis management and research – well why not consider finding a path that allows you to combine both? For example, to marry your love of entertainment and nonprofit work, fundraising or event planning for large not for profit organizations may be a perfect fit that would allow you to seamlessly intertwine the two interests.
- What Kind of Employee Are You – Are you someone who prefers smaller organizations to larger ones, do you prefer working alone versus working in teams, are you interested in a fast-paced and hectic work environment or do you thrive on calm and quiet, etc.? All of these qualities can play a significant part in determining what kind of PR is the best fit for you. For example, if you thrive on chaos, you may find your fit is in crisis communication work.
- Think Outside The Box – It is always good to be open to something different and something that at first glance may not seem like it would be of interest to you. I know this may seem contrary to the above point about considering one’s interests, but while the aforementioned is usually a good first step and an excellent place to start, it doesn’t always yield the answers a person is looking for. And that’s when thinking outside the box helps. Sometimes, our ultimate path lies in a place we never considered.