Sword and the Script

20 plus places to look for a PR job



by Frank Strong

20-plus-places-to-look-for-a-PR-job

Did you know that PR director is one of the best jobs in America?  At least it made the list of the best 100 jobs in America as compiled by money magazine.

Since I do a lot of networking (physical networking) in the local area, I run into a lot of people asking me about jobs.  Providing a list of resources is the first of a couple of posts I have planned.
The list below are some sites that I’ve had success in previous job searches.  If they are not listed in any order and if there’s a site you think I missed and should add – tweet me a link @Frank_Strong and I’ll check it out and consider publishing.

National PR Job Boards and Groups

1. Young PR Pros This is a Yahoo! Group that you can subscribe to by email.  It’s been around for years and is probably better defined as a networking group than a job site, but they do have some good ones in it.  YPRP is like social media, only before social media was cool.  Founding moderator is Ian Lipner who taught me everything I know about social media.  Like any social medium, listen first and then chat.  Tons of folks on here willing to help you out.

2. Council of PR Firms The Council has a decent job board that’s worth checking out.  What attracted me to this site is that they tend to have pretty good research and data; the job board was an extra benefit.

3. PRWeek Jobs Lots of agency and corporate communications positions here. If you’re a subscriber, be sure to check out the salary survey data so you know what your negotiation point should be.  They’ve got the best salary survey I’ve seen for the PR trade.

4. AdAge’s Talent Works. Don’t be shy about checking out marketing and advertising sites.  Lot of the big firms are owned by holding companies like WPP and Omincom that make most of their revenue from ad agencies rather than PR firms.  Still, I’ve seen some solid PR jobs posted here – and some for ad agencies looking for a PR pro.  That must be an interesting gig.

5. PRSA It’s the largest society for PR in the U.S. and ought to be dedicated to the profession.  Though I’ve been a member off and on for many years, I’ve always been lukewarm on PRSA.    However, I’ve noted over the last couple of years, it has redoubled its efforts

6. American Marketing Association More marketing than PR, but then I contend marketing increasingly looks more like PR. There’s a lot of convergence:  search, Web, social and content marketing all overlap  and it’s harder and harder to tell where one begins and one ends.  But then that’s the way it ought to be:  integrated communications.

7. Public Affairs Links This is a UK-based site, but don’t let that fool you – there’s plenty of American jobs too.  I once saw positions at the British Embassy in DC posted here and applied.  They never called this lad back.  Their loss.  I would have loved to show them how to make tea.

8. Work in PR.  This site comes and goes.  Sometimes they’ve got good leads and other times, there are some positions, that might ah, be compromising.  I just send this link to a friend looking for work the other day and noticed the domain was for sale and they had some crazy ads for “web models.”  Today, it looks like it’s been cleaned up a bit and those nefarious ads are gone.

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Related content:
PR Salary Surveys and Calculating Your Worth
10 Unconventional and Creative Ways to Find a PR Job
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DC Area Job Boards and Groups

1. Ned’s Job of the Week (JOTW)Ned’s newsletter has been around for a while.  It’s easy to subscribe to and comes out once a week.  Often I’ve seen listings that aren’t posted elsewhere. He also takes pitches – a one paragraph pitch.  This is an opportunity to show case your talent, but like any diligent PR pro, read up on what he takes and how to send it by reading his FAQs first. (It’s worth noting, while Ned is based in the DC -area, he often includes a range of jobs from across the country).

2. DC Flacks It’s a MeetUp group for networking run by Margie Newman. My employer sponsors them, because, well, I’m personally involved and like the opportunity to network with my peers. Margie often gets the scoop on new jobs and blasts an email out to members.

3. Beltway Jobs This is a Google group for jobs inside the Washington, DC beltway.  Rumor has it one you get in, you can’t leave. Positions posted tend to be political.

4. HillZoo This site too tends to have the political jobs – especially those for politicians but often advocacy groups too.   House jobs are hard to get.  Senate are few and more desirable because they pay more.   Working for a committee earns the most. In any case, it’s always tough to get in on the Hill. They tend to frown on business folks in favor of political folks, whatever that means.  I’m just jaded because I never got hired when I was younger and they don’t pay enough to cover my mortgage now.

5. Roll Call.  Roll Call is a newspaper focused on the ins and outs of Capitol Hill.  It’s actually an interesting read and worth perusing.  I once had Ringling Bros. & Barnum and Bailey Circus as a client and got a picture of a big old yellow python wrapped (loosely) around a Hill staffer’s child on the front page.  Take a breath…the child was never in danger.   It was the adults that were freaking out. Man, do I have some great stories (and some whacky ones too) from working on that account.

6. Washington Networking GroupYou’ll find jobs ranging from PR to international affairs.  I’ve always observed there were a lot of association positions and they generally have pretty good networking sessions too.

7. YoungMC This is a networking group started by a couple of fellows that work a local agencies.  The networking events are usually casual affairs and the occasionally post some jobs that aren’t available elsewhere.

8. Capitol Communicator Jobs.  Local DC publication focused on the DC communications community.

9. Washington DC Gigs  This site is broad – that is not just PR jobs – but positions of all sorts.  Still, there’s lot of communications work in DC so it’s a good site to scope out.

10. Washington Post Jobs Like the Gigs’ link above, this site has a broad range of positions and like the Gig’s site there are a lot of communications jobs. The Post tends to have a higher volume of listings because well, it’s the Washington Post. Still there’s a plethora of tech companies along the Dulles Corridor and when those companies are looking for someone in-house – this is where they advertise.

11. Washington Business Journal Jobs I never had a lot of success here, but they revamped their site since I was last on the job market and I skimmed around a bit and it looks much improved.  Happy hunting!

General job boards

1. The Ladders. This is a paid site, with jobs from all sorts of industries, but one I found worthwhile.  I even paid for the extra service to have someone rewrite my resume. I did this because I wanted to see what someone else might do with my background.  I took some of their ideas and melded them with my own. It was a worthwhile experiment and gave me some outside perspective.

2. Monster.com This is probably the biggest job board in the U.S. They get a lot of positions.  This site and The Ladders are the only two of all the general sites that I ever had much luck with.
Bonus round:

I’d also recommend checking out the career sites on individual PR firms.  Here are some of the larger ones:


Local DC firms:


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4 comments
Jill Asher
Jill Asher

One of the most helpful articles I've found for a young PR Pro breaking into the industry. Thanks for the direction!  

Frank Strong, MA, MBA
Frank Strong, MA, MBA

Pleasure Morgan, you guys got another good catch lately. Thanks for dropping by.

Morgan McLintic
Morgan McLintic

Frank - Thanks for the kind words about LEWIS. And I agree about Ian Lipner being one of the foremost thinkers in SM.