Hopefully by now you have chosen either a "profit" path or a "non-profit" path. We are now at another intersection and must make another choice!Agency or Organization?

The roles of PR in an organization often depend on the type of organization, the perception of top management, and even the capabilities of the PR executives. For the most part, however, the basic setting and job qualifications are very similar.

Some of the advantages of working for an organization often include generally good paying salaries, extensive health and insurance benefits, the opportunity to work with a group of professional peers, and widespread resources.

Disadvantages can be a laborious approval process before producing or disseminating information, lack of understanding by management of the PR function, lack of advancement opportunities, and involvement in routine activities that change little over time.

Review the pros and cons of each of these and determine what’s most important to you. Do you want to work for a specific organization? Or would you rather work for a PR firm or agency?

Before making a decision, let’s look at agencies. In size, PR firms range from one- or two-person operations to global giants that employ 2000. Regardless of the size, every firm gives counsel and performs technical services required to carry out an agreed-upon program. The firm may operate as an adjunct to an organization’s PR department or, if no department exists, conduct the entire effort. Public relations specialists in smaller firms usually get all-around experience, whereas those in larger firms tend to be more specialized.

Agencies are set up on a contractual basis.They provide clients with a variety of services, including marketing communications, executive speech training, research and evaluation, crisis communication, media analysis, community relations, events management, public affairs, positioning a company and financial relations. Working for an organization, you will perform many of the same tasks as a firm, but with less clients.

As in any and every job, working for a firm can be a source of frustrations and rewards. It will require many of the same skills as working for an organization. You will need to expect working on several projects from differenct clients at one time. It is often difficult for the PR specialist to give every client the undivided attention that is often demanded. The high demand of time in a firm is often a concern for firm employees.

Something else to think about if you are a "family person". A survey showed that the #1 concern of employees in PR firms was the ability to have a “balanced” lifestyle, providing time off for family and friends.

Despite the frustrations and the busy lifestyle that comes with it, many people thrive on PR firms. Many firm employees enjoy the constant challenge of coming up with new and creative ideas for a slogan or special event. They like the diversity of assignments that those in an organization often miss out on. So what do you say? Are you an “AGENCY” person?