PR specialists are responsible for creating and promoting a positive public image for an individual, group or organisation. They write media releases and develop a social media presence to shape the public's views of their client. PR specialists also book interviews and appearances to help clients promote their work and objectives.
Duties and responsibilities
- Consult with PR manager, organisation leadership and staff to identify top goals and image concerns
- Write press releases and other promotional materials to share with print and online media
- Respond to requests for information from the media and other interested parties
- Craft a public image for clients that will positively engage consumers and other interested parties
- Monitor public perception and responses to client, works or products, and adjust tactics accordingly
- Book interviews and appearances to promote the client's work and goals
- Write speeches and help the client engage the public and communicate persuasively
- Prepare or edit in-house publications, newsletters and other communications
- Coordinate with advertising agencies on promotional campaigns in all types of media
- Develop an informational website and social media presence to further engage the client's intended audience
Skills and knowledge
AVERAGE WORKING HOURS
PR specialists typically work full time during normal business hours. Overtime, including nights and weekends, may be necessary for client promotion and damage control. Many specialists work in an office but travel to events with or on behalf of the client may be required.
Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.
Bachelor's in PR or related subject
PR specialists typically need a bachelor's degree in public relations. Alternate degree subjects include journalism, English, business and communication. Coursework will provide you with material for your portfolio.
Work on school publications or promotion for a university club or charity will help impress potential employers. Internships at a PR firm or in the public relations department of a business or organisation also boosts your résumé.
Internships and entry-level positions in large public relations departments help PR specialists earn valuable experience. Maintaining a client's image well makes you indispensable, likely leading to increased pay and benefits. A reputation for creative and dependable work can also lead to positions at another firm with more responsibility and pay.
Eventually, you can progress to a supervisory role as a PR manager. A master's degree in public relations or a related field may be necessary.