Public relations is a strategic communication process that influences, engages and builds a relationship with key stakeholders across multiple platforms in order to shape the public perception of an organization. The public relations industry plays an important role in helping companies and individuals promote themselves, boost awareness, sales of products and services, and maintain a public reputation. Any time you see a press release, a formal speech being given, special publicity events, blogging, and promotional ads running, there are PR masterminds behind it all.
Job Title Examples:
- Content Creator
- Media Relations
- Communications Specialist
- Social Media Manager
- Public Relations Officer
- Critical and strategic thinking
- Problem solving
Education and Training:
Portfolio school is one way to build design skills and develop a personal portfolio if pursuing a creative position within advertising or marketing. Portfolio School is not a graduate program but rather an option to gain design skills in a hands-on, intensive, professional setting.
Using IrishCompass, LinkedIn, and ND’s alumni association directory called myND is the best way to start on the networking front. Building relationships and networking is a key factor when it comes to finding out about opportunities in this sector as well. Stay in touch with ND alumni groups in whatever city you’re pursuing a career in Digital Media in - most likely they will be willing to help you get connected and find potential opportunities.
Many advertising, marketing, and PR firms may not appear to be as active during on-campus recruiting periods. Employers may operate on a different schedule based on full-time and internship needs.
Applying and Interviewing
Your resume will often be the first impression for a potential employer. You want to make sure that your resume is concise, direct, and specific. Ensure that your resume is tailored for the position and for the industry. Highlighting relevant coursework can demonstrate your fit for a particular position. Review our guide on resumes for more information on how to construct one.
A cover letter introduces you to a potential employer. Use the position description to make specific connections between your skills and experience and what the organization is looking for in a candidate. The cover letter should be concise and well-written—if a potential employer reads your cover letter and is intrigued, they will then read your resume. Your cover letter should not repeat your resume verbatim, but enhance it. Together the cover letter and resume can help land you an interview. Review our guide on cover letters for more information on how to construct one.
Most interviews will contain a mixture of resume based questions (questions about your past experience) and behavioral based questions (your ability to handle prospective situations at work. Most positions will begin with an interview that has a mix of these questions. Review our guide on common interview questions.
Preparation is extremely important for interviews. Research the company/organization, current and previous projects they’ve worked on, and even the people that you’re interviewing with. This will not only help provide talking points but will show your knowledge and genuine interest in the position. Utilize our resources on how to best prepare yourself to excel in your interview.
It is very important for students at Notre Dame interested in PR read about the profession with the links below AND read the trades daily:
- PR News Online
- L2 Daily Insights
- PR Week Blog
- Overview of Public Relations (Vault)
- Public Relations Guide (Vault)
- Public Relations Specialist (O*Net)
- Public Relations Specialist (Occupational Outlook Handbook)
- 5 Tips for Students Seeking PR Positions (PR News)
- PRSA - Find a Job, Find a Firm
- Marketing and Public Relations Job Descriptions
- Public Relations Interviewing
Every profession has one or more professional associations. Most of these are underused by students but that have WONDERFUL information about the profession. Often they have a student organization which has up-to-date, fun, and relevant information for undergraduate-aged students. In PR, please refer to these:
- PR Society of America
- PR Student Society of America
- Council of PR Firms
- National Black PR Society
- International PR Association
- North American Association of Independent PR Agencies
- Catholic Academy of Communication Professionals
Meet with a career counselor
- Weber Shandwick
- Zeno Group
- Hill + Knowlton
- Davidson & Choy Publicity
- Leo Burnett
Personalize your feed, explore your curiosities, and get updates that matter to you. Handshake is a dynamic system that works to match students with the most relevant resources and opportunities offered by our office including:
• Access to personalized job recommendations – This is based on major, career interests, and profile information such as skills and experiences. When students fill out their profile, they’ll be able to see jobs and internships that match their interests and skills.
• Ability to schedule one–on-one counseling appointments – Counseling appointments are able to be scheduled through Handshake and held virtually via Zoom.
• Ability to Interact with employers – Students can research contact information for local and national employers. Employers can also message students with opportunities and information.
• Connect with students across the country - Students can interact with their peers through messaging, get tips and advice, as well as network.
• Search for and apply to open positions - On Handshake, students can see jobs and internships posted specifically for them as well as employers actively recruiting from Notre Dame.