• Tori Dennison

Corporation vs. Agency vs. Non-Profit

When diving deeper into the work of a public relations professional, usually they work for one of three kinds of businesses. Most work in the public relations industry either falls under working for a corporation, agency, non-profit. Being that there is variety in public relations work means that each area of work has its unique qualities. When deciding where to work after graduation, it is valuable to consider these different qualities.

Non-profit work in public relations is the easiest to find compared to the other two business types. Being that it is the easiest to get into, there are many entry-level jobs for new graduates to consider. Much of the public relations work for non-profits includes work in volunteering, promotions, educations, and donations. Many non-profit organizations are seeking to educate the public about their mission and gather support. This work is what the PR professional in a non-profit would take on. Since non-profit organizations often are smaller businesses, there is usually one employee work on public relations. As a result, there is no one to mentor new recruits. Being a smaller business also means the pay is less, and the working budget is limited. Due to this, the PR professional must be as impactful as they can with their work. Finally, non-profit work in public relations would have the least number of hours of work at 36-40 hours.


Agency work in public relations involves promoting clients to make them attractive to the public. PR agency work differs from advertising in that a PR professional works to balances the public opinion of their client, counsels client management on handling public issues, planning organizational efforts with the public, and much more. Instead of managing the public relations of a single company, a PR professional working for an agency is handling PR for multiple companies. Being that those working for agencies are working with many clients, workers often work between 60-70 hours a week and are pressured to produce a large quantity of work. Like non-profit, there are many entry-level jobs in agency work, but the pay is higher than non-profit. Finally, since the work at an agency revolved around public relations, several people can provide beginners with guidance and mentoring.


A PR professional working in the public relations department for a corporation runs all aspects of public relations for that company. Working for a corporation often means that PR workers are limited to working within that industry. Tasks involve developing PR strategies, working with the media, developing press releases, creating company content, event planning, crisis management, and more. Working for one company allows for PR employees to work as a group to bring the most impactful ideas to the company. Corporations often have more income, which means the public relations department has a flexible budget to do their work. PR department members work between 40-60 hours a week for a corporation and received the highest payout of an agency, non-profit and corporate workers. Finally, corporation work involves a high level of group work, which gives beginners a shallow entry into the industry.


Each of these business types provides different opportunities for PR professionals. With the many differences, it is valuable to consider what qualities fit best for each individual. Not everyone in public relations will thrive in each business type.


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