I’m personally on track to pursue a department-type PR position. My reasoning is simple—I want to work for a cause. One singular cause. My work style would not be stellar in a firm setting. I would not be working in my ‘sweet-spot,’ if you will.
Departments vs. Firms:
-Firms are worldwide. There are currently about 7,000 PR firms in the US.
-Firms duties include: marketing communications, media analysis, crisis communication, and event management.
-Firm PROS: They can be international, be unbiased to a situation, and provide more PR contacts than a department.
-Firm CONS: They do not have a ‘heart connection’ with the project like an inhouse PR Pro might—which means they may lake full understanding.
-Corporate communications, corporate affairs, community relations, and public affairs are all other names for PR Departments. These names have evolved as PR tasks have evolved over time.
– In larger companies, PR Departments have large authority on PR matters. In smaller companies, there are a different staff of people who engage in matters such as news releases.
Chapter 4 of Public Relations: ‘Stategies and Tactics’ (9th ed.) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.