Home > Public Relations, Topics of the Week > PR Firm Vs. Department

PR Firm Vs. Department

The public relations field is divided into two main categories which represent what type of organization a practitioner works at.  First, if someone is in a PR department, it is a part of the parent company which it supports and works with.  Secondly, PR firms are standalone businesses that serve many different businesses and deal with a lot of different clients.

I believe that for a person just getting started in public relations, the best bet would be to start in a department, where they could work with only the company that they are a part of and gain the necessary skills that are required before they move to a PR firm and handle relations and work for many different client businesses.  Each of these has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it is largely up to the individual person to decide which they would rather work at, but we will look briefly at what the pros and cons for each are.

As for the PR department, as was established earlier, it is part of a company and is a department within it, so they only deal with that company.  People going this route must do adequate research about the prospective company that they will be working for so they know what they will be supporting.  Also, with a departmental PR job, you are an employee of the company, rather than the PR department, so you would only get proceeds directly from that company.

PR firms are businesses in and of themselves and deal with outside companies that need help with their public relations.  This could be because they are doing something that their department is not skilled with or simply because they don’t have a PR department.  Working at a PR firm, you have to be aware of the different ways of that a company would pay your firm, and in turn, you.  You must be aware of this because certain ways will short change you if you go above and beyond and work overtime for them.  There are more variables here and you also likely would need more experience due to the fact that you would be managing many companies’ PR instead of just one.

The decision on which is better is left up to the individual because each has plenty of pros and cons and they all just about even out.

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