City Series: Why Chicago is Second to None for Public Relations

City Series Charlotte (1)Chicago did not earn its Second City moniker by measuring opportunities for public relations professionals. In fact, Chicago continues to be home to innovation in our field and home to top companies to work for across specialties and industries.

Just looking at the companies based in the Chicago area, it is clear opportunity must follow. My firm, Edelman, is co-headquartered in Chicago with more than 600 employees alone. Other storied agencies such as Golin also call Chicago home and Illinois housed 33 Fortune 500 headquarters in 2014. A quick search on using the term “Public Relations” netted close to 1,000 jobs alone.

Chicago is home to innovative public relations initiatives that date back to Dan Edelman’s days in the 1950s. I think back to the great stories I have read in Edelman and the Rise of Public Relations and Dan launching the first consumer outreach line for Butterball (still an Edelman client) which is now known as the infamous “Turkey Talk-Line.” Over the years, the line has evolved to providing advice in real-time via social media, email, live chat and more, just like the rest of the public relations industry. Call them next Thanksgiving if you have any turkey questions.

As public relations evolves with the ever changing media landscape and there is more competition, it is important to be in a city that offers opportunities not only in the public relations industry, but other robust opportunities across the communications and marketing spectrum. Leo Burnett, another storied agency in its own right, is headquartered in Chicago and other major agencies have a strong presence in the city as well — DDB, Draft, Digitas and other advertising and social agencies come to mind.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not discuss the one thing that Chicago has with which no other major market can compete — great Midwestern people. Chicago is a friendly and livable city that allows you to have all of the amenities of a larger city and offers a standard of living that is nearly impossible to find in major “competitors” like New York City or San Francisco. Bring your PRSSA Chapter to town for a visit, reach out to me directly and we will show you what the city, and Edelman, have to offer.

Be sure to follow @EdelmanChi on Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates from our office.

Travis Kessel is the senior vice president of recruitment at Edelman Chicago. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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