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Government: The Fourth Option

Published on August 29, 2017, at 4:08 p.m. by Josh Downey

At college, as a public relations major, I am always asked what direction I want to go for my professional career. Usually this question gives the option of picking one of the big three: agency, corporate or nonprofit. But what about a public relations job with the government?

A public relations career in government seems to always be overlooked by college students and young professionals. A government PR job can lead to a steady career with a stable path to success.

Most people seem to think a government job would be boring and repetitive, but I think they fail to see some of the great opportunities the government has to offer. There are many ways public relations is used in government, and that means there are many ways to get involved in government if you have knowledge and a public relations degree.

For example, although many people do not have interest in serving in the military, it can be a viable and fulfilling career. A job in the military is very secure, and you know you won’t have a huge chance of getting laid off like you do at an agency, corporation or nonprofit.

Military Public Affairs Specialists in a meeting.

As a public relations specialist in the military, your title would most likely be public affairs specialist, and you would be working public relations for the military and planning and implementing new campaigns with a team, much like at a corporation.

If the military isn’t for you, there are job opportunities in government offices as well.

You can work for or be a communications director or a press secretary for someone in public office. Working for a government official, you would have the opportunity to see how the government operates as well as gain a lot of experience in a fast-moving environment. You would have the opportunity to manage social media, assist with composing speeches, write press releases and so much more.

George E. Little, former Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs

Government agencies also need public relations professionals. There are many opportunities  to work in a government agency. Working in a government agency would be similar to working in a corporation since you would have the same client day-in and day-out.

Although working in government may not be for everyone, it is a viable career option and needs to be included in the conversation with agency, corporate and nonprofit work. A career in government can provide a steady income along with job stability, and those can be very valuable to a young professional. And nothing says you have to work in government your whole life — you can always try it out for a while, then move on to where you think you fit in best.

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