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Where should you work?
Career opportunities exist in two areas: Consultancy and in-house.
Public relations consultancies began to be established in Ireland over 30 years ago and offer public relations advice and services to a wide range of organisations in the private, public and non-profit making sectors.
Most offer a wide range of services and areas of expertise (see sectors above), while others may specialise in a particular area e.g. consumer PR, corporate PR or public affairs.
As individuals develop in the business they progress from account executive to account manager to account director, although other levels and terms are also used e.g. client manager.
A client service team would generally comprise of one/two account executives supporting an account manager who reports into an account director. Account directors will generally have a number of account managers reporting to them and responsibility for running successful, cost effective communications programmes, and good consultancy/client relations will rest with the account director. All executives will work across a range of clients in what is often referred to as a client portfolio.
PR positions can also be found in-house in public, private and non-profit making organisations. They may work as individuals or in teams reporting directly to the managing director, marketing director or senior press officer.
They will provide services ranging from a press office to a full-service communications strategy development and implementation department. They will be responsible for both internal and external communications. The skills required to work in-house are the same as those for consultancy but in-house PR practitioners will develop an in-depth knowledge of their organisations and its business environment to a level not possible for an external consultant looking after a range of clients.