For many communication majors, it may be challenging to choose which specific functions within the communications/public relations industry intrigue you. Since I am in the process of developing these preferences as well, I thought it would be beneficial to review different functions and their relationships in the wide-ranging communications industry.
PR is broad in nature, encompassing a variety of job functions and positions. It is defined as the constant maintenance of the relationship between the public and an entity or individual. An employee in this field should possess exceptional writing and language skills. Their job will include creating messages to increase brand recognition in the public or maintaining consumer confidence in the face of criticism. There are opportunities to work in agency or corporate communications. Agency PR includes doing work for multiple clients simultaneously. In corporate PR, time and attention are dedicated to communications functions of the company solely.
Marketing pertains specifically to the promotion of specific products in the market. Marketers strive to create relationships with consumers and entice them to buy their product or service. This industry is slightly more narrow than PR, as it focuses on the establishing of connections between people and products. Employees in this industry can expect to focus on brand strategy and market research. They will attempt to determine the factors that will trigger product recognition and consumption within the market.
Advertising focuses on a specific function within the marketing process. Advertising involves the creation and distribution of stimuli to be presented to consumers. This division of marketing does not deal with conducting market research, instead it makes decisions considering market research data. Employees within the industry can work in agency or in corporate advertising and will be expected to work together with marketers when developing and distributing advertisements for an entity.
Although not directly affiliated with public relations. Salespeople play a vital role within many organizations. The sales industry can include business to business transactions or business to consumer transactions. However, most sales positions involve business to business exchanges. Sales professionals contact potential buyers of their products to inform them about the benefits of their product or service. A salesperson informs the consumer, negotiates prices and makes transactional agreements. A sales practitioner should possess exceptional interpersonal and intermediated communication skills. In this industry it is important to develop mutual trust between salespeople and client representatives.