The communications industry includes the fields of public relations, marketing, advertising, publishing and social networking sites. Marketing and advertising can also be considering job functions that cross many industries (healthcare, media, entertainment, finance, consumer products, nonprofits, government, etc.). While this can all be a little confusing, these areas are grouped together as they often intersect and have common traits of desired skills, positions, culture, recruiting timelines and practices. The act of gathering, researching, creating, analyzing and sharing information is one common element that is essential to all of these career fields and applicable for students who major in many areas.
Overall Trends and Skills Needed
In many of these industries, the work with information has evolved from print to multimedia and the positions in demand are also changing. To prepare for the changes, one must be flexible and have skills in several areas – writing and creating content is still very important, but so is recording and editing pieces for various media platforms. Large sets of data about consumers in many of these industries need to be gathered, researched, analyzed and shared. Advertising, promotions, and marketing managers are needed to help companies reach customers through websites, social media, and live chats and will need to have software, digital and social media skills and experience, as well as skills in presenting, design and sales. Client relationships will mean more in an increasingly digital world so skills in communication with, cultivation and representation of the clients will also be needed.
Marketing – The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.″ Marketing is the link between the companies and their clients. See this Marketing Careers 101 article to get a sense of how it works from a student perspective.
Advertising – The Vault defines Advertising as an industry that “creates and manages the connection between companies, products, and consumers, translating their clients’ messages into effective campaigns.” It is the most active and expensive component of the marketing process – taking the message and forming it to appeal to a particular audience, in all the ways that may happen. See this AEF Advertising Career Guidebook for a breakdown of the industry and how it works.
Public Relations – focuses on building and managing the reputations of organizations and individuals. See these PR Career Guides to learn what newcomers should know and how to find a position.
Publishing – focuses on the producing and disseminating information, such as literature, music, software, current news, and entertainment, in print and digital forms. Because there are several different forms, the Vault Media & Entertainment Guides (in Vault on my Career Center) are a good place to explore, covering books, newspapers, magazines, comic books and music.
How to Get Hired in This Industry
Your skills in looking for an internship or job are the same as what you will need to use in the industry – initiative, creativity, research, communication and (self) marketing skills. Look for advertised openings on Handshake and at sites like the ones below, but also stay up on trends and news to be aware of the quickly changing hiring environment. These employers will not usually reach out campuses to recruit entry level positions – you will need to seek them out by targeting employers and networking. The timeline for recruiting can start as early as November for some large employers or structured programs and stretch all the way to when you are available to work with “just in time” hiring in April or May.
Resources for finding more information, companies and positions:
- Trends and News
- Associations, Job Boards and Trade Organizations
- Opportunities in Public Affairs (free access through my Career Center on myBucknell)
- AdWeek Jobs
- American Marketing Association Job Board
- Book Jobs
- Media Bistro
- Magazine Publishers of America
- Poynter’s journalism internship database
- Publishers Marketplace
- Society of Professional Journalists
- PR Crossing Job Board