Some say the best place in the world for public relations professionals to work is at a non-profit organization. Why? Because, they contend, there is a noble cause driving the organization’s goals that, if it aligns with your own ideals, makes you feel good about working there. Others say the best place for a PR guy or gal is at a big corporation because as long as you love what you do, where you work is less of a concern. For these people, their job is both their craft and their cause. After all, strong corporations have the ability to assist many charitable endeavours, right?
What about working in government? From my perspective, there are some dualities.
Government can be great because of the stability. It is a place to build a strong and steady career for yourself, but it can also be a challenging place for PR professionals who desire a high level of autonomy in their work. Dealing with bureaucracy, chains of approval, and politics is not for everyone. But if you can navigate this, there is always the need for someone with great media relations skills, who is quick-thinking, and able to manage emotions when a crisis appears that affects a large population. Communicating essential information to the people of your city, province or country is itself a noble cause.
My personal opinion is that it does not matter which type of organization you work for as long as you find your cause: the challenge that makes your heart beat faster. One place surely can be more demanding than another, but as long as you are being challenged in your work you have the opportunity to grow and go further in your career.
Some things to think about when choosing where to apply after school, is the need for a cause or something you feel passionately about. Another equally important factor is the benefits you receive (you know… paid vacation, performance bonuses, the prospect of a promotion, and open communication). A third factor that is really REALLY important to me is atmosphere and environment you’re working in. You need to be able to build connections and relationships with your coworkers and managers. When you have great relationships with the people you work with, the challenges of the job often becomes easier to work through. When you utterly care about the people surrounding you, you’ll run the extra mile (or a kilometer) for them.
What it comes down to for me when searching for the best place to work is not the challenges of the job or company itself: it is the people I am going to be working with.
For those of you who were expecting the names of a few great companies to work for, take a look in this PRWeek article.