PR Through The Eyes Of A Young Professional

Group Discussion: Help, I’m Trapped! or Am I?

In Uncategorized on August 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Every month, the New Kids on the Block writers will ditch the traditional blog posts and open the floor for discussion to our readers.  We will present a topic or issue that commonly conflicts public relations professionals and allow YOU to offer your best advice to fellow practitioners.  We are only one voice. Sometimes 10 heads are better than 1. So jump in!

Here’s this week’s  discussion topic:

This week , I (Najja) will start off with a personal point of conflict that I often struggle with as an up and coming public relations professional.  My issue — while I am totally confident in my skills and knowledge as a professional, I still struggle with the idea of limiting my specialty.  Allow me to elaborate.  I love PR, but I don’t favor any one industry or specialty (note: I use specialty and industry interchangeably).  Consumer, healthcare, entertainment, tourism, automotive, international, etc. all seem like great and interesting industries; however I’m not married to one in particular.  For example,  I’ve mostly worked in healthcare PR since I started my professional career, now I would like to do something else – practice PR internationally, do social media for BMW – hell I don’t know, but you get the picture. Yet as I continue to accelerate in my career,  I want  the freedom to test the waters in as many specialties as I can.  Sounds simple enough right? Wrong!

If you’ve been in the PR field longer than 2 years then you know once you start in one industry,  the mere suggestion of moving to another industry is taboo. This is often unspoken, but not well hidden.

You see it in job descriptions everyday, “3-5 experience in public relations, communications,etc.  Must have (industry/specialty) experience…” “Only candidates with (industry/specialty) experience will be considered.”

Now if we were talking about another profession I could understand the strict necessity for an individual to be a master of their specialty;  however PR is a profession where skills are almost always transferable.

The only arena where I see the opportunity to jump from industry to industry, specialty to specialty is within an agency. But then again once you join a specific track , your clients may change but the industry remains the same.

Help me out PRos! Is this dilemma a figment of my imagination or is this truly an issue that plagues others? Should I just pick one industry and stick with it or should I be a PR explorer and allow my fundamental skills to lead the way?

Please share your thoughts!

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