Mass communication is a broad term that involves different forms of communicating a message from one entity to another. The medium can be through social media, billboards, television advertising, radio, brochures, in-person, film, internet, and magazines. The purpose of the message is as varied as the means. Mass communication via advertising aims to reach as many people to promote a product or service. To accomplish this goal, the company or organization requires marketing skills to impact prospective buyers or clients.
Communication through television and the internet generally involves graphic artists’ talents to create an impressionable message or sales pitch. The task may also need the services of computer personnel for elaborate computer-driven communications.
Generally, a larger company will have a greater demand for graduates with a degree in communication or related field. The corporation’s size typically influences the number of employees working under the banner of public relations (PR). A manager or director heads the department, supported by a staff of specialists or associates. Their mission is to handle media, publications, special events, websites, advertising, press releases, advertising, and other assignments.
Apple is an example of dynamic and ingenious public relations. Before the launch of the iPhone 5 in 2012, the company attracted customers and gained media attention through creative PR work. Social media became a platform that generated interest by releasing previews of the phone’s new and improved features. Selected tech reviewers tested and published reviews on the product.
Apple is an example of a large company – with over 90,000 employees in the United States. By 2023, it expects to add 20,000 jobs across the nation.
Apple might be a league of its own, but other significant corporations in manufacturing, service industries, internet providers, search engines, and more have PR divisions. Does a small company even need PR people – skilled in communication methods?
A small operation needs to promote a product or service the same as a large company, but on a lower budget. You could be the sole communication specialist in a small company or part of a modest staff. Broadcasting the message could be more crucial for the smaller company with more to lose through unsuccessful advertising or promotion.
The communication graduate may become a graphic designer, marketer, web designer, spokesperson, and strategist in the above example. A company with fewer workers will rely on them to accept multiple functions.
Many college programs in mass communication cover a range of subjects. Therefore, graduates have the skills to tackle an assortment of tasks in the name of public relations. Some of the study areas are market research, ethics and the law, digital communication, technology, web design, and social media.
How to choose?
The larger company may have more job openings than a small company or organization. Once hired, the one with more employees will likely have more competition to move upward. It makes sense that a prominent advertising or PR department will have more workers in a supporting role. Your voice might be heard better in a small operation in a group of a dozen or less. As the saying goes – do you want to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?
One gauge is to examine what jobs are available and at what companies. Employment sites as Indeed offer thousands of positions in a myriad of titles across the nation. An example of a big fish in a small pond is an opening for a Marketing and Communications Manager at Junior Achievement of Central Carolinas in Charlotte, North Carolina. The statement that the candidate will collaborate with the CEO and senior leadership indicates that this could be a one-person job.
An example of a large company of over 20,000 employees is Expedia Group, the online travel people. It posted the requirement for a Communications Specialist in Seattle to support the Senior Manager. Despite the number of employees at Expedia, the ad does not mention the PR or communications department’s size.
If you glance through job positions in this field, opportunities abound at big and small companies, hospitals, universities, governmental, online retailers, hotel chains, and the list continues. Instead of focusing on the company’s size, perhaps you should concentrate on the type of business, the culture, the salary, location, job requirements, and qualifications. Further analysis of these factors will help you make an informed decision to answer the question: What is best for you?