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Public relations is a rich and varied industry supporting dozens, if not hundreds, of industry sectors. These are often described as ‘verticals’. A vertical market encompasses a group of companies and customers that are all interconnected around a specific niche. For example, one of the largest ‘verticals’ in PR is technology.
Many PR agencies either start life as, or evolve into, vertical sector specialists. This enables them to develop and provide deep domain knowledge, specific skill sets and relationships that are attractive to clients targeting these niches.
As your PR career develops you may find yourself working across various vertical markets, or be focused on one from the outset. There is no ‘right way’ to approach this from a career planning perspective. Many PR professionals move between vertical specialisms throughout their working lives, many find a vertical they love and become ‘go to’ experts in the area. However, it is often the case that PR professionals that are able to generate specific vertical domain knowledge, relevant skill sets and contacts are able to command higher salaries than their peers who are more generalist.
Here is a (necessarily) incomplete list of vertical PR specialisms, many of which will include numerous sub-verticals:
- Beauty and fashion
- Business-to-business technology
- Consumer packaged goods
- Consumer technology
- Financial services
- Food and drink
- Government and public sector
- Mobility and transportation
- Professional services
- Real estate
- Travel and hospitality
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This is part of our Beginner's Guide to public relations