This section provides an overview of some of the areas in public relations that are emerging, surging or just plain worth knowing about.

Here you will find some of the specialties and sub specialties where public relations firms are doing the most – and most compelling – work for their clients.

Inside PR, which is updated regularly, by no means captures the entire universe of public relations work, rather it is intended to give readers a snapshot of a dynamic and thriving industry.


PR Firms Doing Good

Corporate responsibility is an important focus among professional services firms, which includes a particular form of corporate benevolence, the performance of pro bono work. The public relations industry has a long history of working pro bono to benefit the many communities in which it serves. According to a PR Council survey, more than 70% of Council [MORE]

Business to Business

The business-to-business sub-specialty is among the industry’s largest, according to Council member surveys. Recent data shows that  23% of Council member firm Us.S. revenue is derived from business-to-business work, according to the Council’s 2015 Benchmark Survey. The role of PR firms within B2B organizations has shifted from simply disseminating news to sharing insight relevant to [MORE]

Employee/Internal communications

Internal communications, designed to mobilize employees as brand ambassadors, is a burgeoning field. The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer found that regular company employees are the most credible voices on a variety of topics, including the company’s work environment, integrity, innovation and work practices. This helps explain the steady growth of employee or internal communications practice [MORE]

Financial Communications

As one PR blogger noted, “You don’t hear much about investor relations until something big happens. An IPO, a chatty CEO, earnings good or bad. Then the [investor relations officer] is the most popular guy in the room.” The same holds true for financial communications generally, and that’s unfortunate, because talking about money—and doing it [MORE]


Healthcare is one of public relations biggest growth areas, generating over 15% of member firm’s revenues according to the recent Council data. Healthcare public relations covers a number of sectors, including biotech, pharmaceuticals, animal health, vaccines, medical technology, and health care providers. The quick pace of scientific and medical advances, the presence of global markets [MORE]

Issues and Crisis Communications

Today’s media is a pretty tough playground. If you’re a company, government agency, or prominent individual, you face a barrage of threats—ethical concerns, financial-market rumors, activist campaigns, class-action litigation, industrial accidents, as well as more subtle issues that can intensify to undermine a company’s ability to compete. To handle these threats, clients call upon public [MORE]

Public Affairs

We can define public affairs as “issues arising from the relationship of the public to an organization such as a government body or a financial institution.” Substitute the word “client” for “public,” and you arrive at the essence of a public affairs practice. Each day, elected and regulatory officials make decisions impacting private businesses. The [MORE]

Research and Evaluation

More firms are bringing quantitative analysis into their communications programs so as to measure the performance of these programs, test messages, and generate publicity. As of 2010, one third of firms have added “Advanced Research” to their service offerings as business has become more integrated. Further, according to a Q2 2011 member survey, more than [MORE]

Social Media

While the battles for supremacy still rages in the area of social media and analytics, we’ve come to the point of being unable to account for ‘social revenues by category’, since virtually every program conducted in the industry today has ‘social’ at its heart. It’s all ‘social by design’ now. Our ability to grow as [MORE]