PR, Marketing and Advertising Careers

Many companies have integrated public relations (PR), marketing, and advertising functions and while these three areas share a number of
similarities, there are significant differences.

  • Marketing is interested in the market — consumers and demand.
  • Public relations (PR) is interested in relationships — reducing conflict and improving cooperation between the organization and its publics.
  • Advertising tells a story to attract attention to a product or service. Advertising is a step in the marketing process.

While there are some companies with set hiring timelines, hiring generally happens when employers need to fill positions.

Information Gathering

If you are interested in a career in advertising, marketing or PR, you must be able to demonstrate to employers that you know your stuff, and that you follow the field closely. Read trade magazines, newsletters, and popular industry websites. Join relevant email lists. Follow industry insiders on social media. Research the types of positions that are available in your field. Vault (available for free to Georgetown students) is a good place to start your search. Company websites, O*NET, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook can also help you learn about the types of jobs in your field.

Select Resources

Vault Career Insider Guides (Cawley website):

  • Vault Career Guide to Market Research
  • Vault Guide to Advertising and Marketing Jobs
  • Vault Career Guide to Public Relations
  • Vault Guide to Public Relations Jobs
  • Career Launcher: Advertising and Public Relations
  • Vault Guide to the Top Advertising and PR Employers, 2010 Edition

Advertising Educational Foundation: The AEF creates and distributes educational content to improve the understanding and appreciation of the societal role of advertising and marketing through programs on college campuses across the country.  Check out the fast forum, industry conversation and career guide sections. AdAge, Ad Forum and AdWeek are also excellent resources.

Public Relations Society of America: The largest professional organization for PR professionals (also includes 255 college and university chapters). PRSA focuses on continuing education for members through networking, professional development and publications. Maintains an extensive job bank. PRWeek and PR News Online are also excellent resources.

American Marketing Association: Professional organization for marketing professionals. AMA focuses on continuing education for members through networking, professional development and publications. Maintains a directory and job bank. The Advertising and Educational Foundation and AdAge are also excellent resources.

Making Connections

Attend employer information sessions, industry events — on and off-campus — and connect with the local chapter of popular professional organizations such as the D.C. chapter of the American Advertising Federation.

Professional associations host a variety of professional development, educational and networking events. If the cost of membership is prohibitive, contact leadership and ask if there are sliding scale prices for students. Volunteering for a conference, educational, or social event is another great way to connect with leaders in the industry.

Develop a LinkedIn profile that communicates your personal and professional brand. Joining groups related to your industry is a great way to meet new people, find mentors, contacts, and ask them questions. Reach out to alumni through Hoya Gateway, the alumni section of Georgetown’s LinkedIn page, and Georgetown’s Alumni Career Network. The Cawley website provides helpful guidelines on networking and informational interviewing.

Making Connections at Georgetown

Joining a school club is another excellent way to learn more about the arts, develop your skills, and get hands-on experience. Georgetown offers a number of opportunities for Hoyas to get involved. Check out the Georgetown Marketing Agency, for example.

Join a group based on your personal interest and develop your professional skills. For example, if you are interested in graphic design, you could join Georgetown’s chapter of Amnesty International and work on the communications or design team.

On and off-campus jobs are another excellent way to build skills that employers value. According to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the following are key attributes employers seek in new hires — all qualities Georgetown students have in abundance:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Communication skills (written)
  • Leadership
  • Strong work ethic
  • Analytical/quantitative skills
  • Communication skills (verbal)
  • Initiative
  • Detail-oriented
  • Flexibility/adaptability

Preparing Your Application Materials

To better understand what skills to highlight on your resume, check out internships, fellowships, and entry-level positions in fashion. Employer websites, the Public Relations Society of America job board, the American Marketing Association job board, and the American Association of Advertising Agencies job board are great places to research industry opportunities.

Your resume should be one page. Use strong action verbs and focus on your skills and accomplishments to show (not just tell) an employer that you have the required abilities. Be concise. See our resume formatting guide for more tips and advice.

Be energetic, intelligent and aware when writing cover letters. Use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and abilities.

The purpose of a cover letter is to convince someone to interview you. For more on cover letters, see our cover letter tips.

In the creative industries, you may be required to have a portfolio or “book” of your best work or a website that doubles as your portfolio. You may also need to have a visual resume, either as a supplement to your traditional resume or instead of it. Be sure to research the application requirements in your industry. Check out Vizualize.Me and ResumUP for ideas. Free virtual tools for designing a portfolio include WIX, Behance, Coroflot and Crevado.

Applying

Internships enable you to gain valuable professional experience prior to graduation.

If you are having a difficult time finding a full-time job after graduation you may want to consider a post-graduation internship or fellowship, which is common in these industries, and often leads to full-time employment.

Select Employers and Internships

WPP Group, Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe, Interpublic Group, Dentsu are holding companies that own many of the brands familiar to Georgetown students – like Ogilvy and BBDO.  Internships/jobs can be found on either the holding companies’ websites or on their subsidiaries’ websites.