Corporate Community Relations Directors
Employment opportunities exist with large or midsized corporations whose needs warrant a public relations department. Many major corporations are located in large cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, Atlanta, and Chicago, but opportunities are available throughout the United States. Prospective employers come from a variety of industries—from computer manufacturers to retail conglomerates to banking giants.
Freelance work can be found with smaller companies that may contract public relations specialists on a project-by-project basis.
Entry-level work is usually found as an assistant within public relations departments at corporations and other organizations. As an assistant you may be asked to help with travel arrangements, organize awards for a corporate-sponsored sporting event, send out company holiday greeting cards, or prepare media kits and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations.
With experience, you may be promoted to head of the public relations or community relations department. Aside from overseeing the performance of the staff, the director may be asked to serve as official spokesperson for the corporation, or serve as a board member of a community group.
Moving to a larger corporation, perhaps one that deals with more numerous and larger scale philanthropic projects, is another form of job advancement.
Other corporate community relations directors leave the corporate world to teach at the secondary and postsecondary levels.
Tips for Entry
Organize a book, toy, or food drive to benefit a local shelter or food bank and earn some practical community relations experience.
Take as many English, speech, and writing classes that your school offers.
Plan a clean up day for a local park and recruit friends to help; write a news release about the event and submit it to the local paper or radio station.
Work on the school newspaper and yearbook to gain writing experience.
Join your school's debate club or speech team to gain experience and confidence speaking in public.