I think that it would be more beneficial for a new public relations his or her career in a public relations department. The way that I have come to this conclusion is through my readings within the book. In chapter 4 they described public relations departments as an area of the organization or company that serves various roles and functions. This is one of the reasons that I believe it would be beneficial to start out in this position. I think that you would have the opportunity to do an assortment of different jobs relating to public relations, giving you the opportunity to grow and learn where your specific strengths and weaknesses are.
I think that the disadvantage of working for a public relations department as opposed to a public relations firm would be that in a public relations firm, the public relations practitioner is corresponding with several different people in the public relations world. At public relations firms, different organizations are hiring you as a professional, so you are not focused in on one particular organization and their goals. This can be a really good thing. But at the same time, as a new practitioner, you may have the desire to be focused on one organization, with one common goal.
Public relations firms provide a variety of services. Some of these include, marketing communications, executive speech training, research and evaluation, crisis communication, media analysis, community relations, events management, public affairs, branding and corporate reputation, and financial relations. This is a wide array of different opportunities, but may feel overwhelming as new public relations professional. This is why I believe that it will be better to begin focused on one company, with one mind-set and one goal at hand. This will allow you to find your strengths and weaknesses, and then you can move on from there.