Public Relations Manager: Job Duties, Employment Outlook and Education Requirements

Explore the career requirements for public relations managers. Get the facts about degree requirements, job outlook and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Public Relations Manager?

Public relations managers maintain the public image and reputation of their clients. Many individuals entering this career have completed formal training and earned experience, but some reach a management role through lower-level public relations positions. To maintain their client's public image, these individuals must write and review information or press releases for the media, as well as designate someone to be a spokesperson or provide any additional needed information.

Public relations managers must develop and maintain the desired corporate image and promote it through advertising. They also help their clients communicate with the public and determine the best way to reach their audience. These professionals must also oversee the activities of their staff. You can obtain more information about this career through the table below.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Public relations, marketing, communications, journalism
Key Skills Leadership, speaking, writing, organization
Certification Voluntary certification available through the Public Relations Society of America
Job Growth (2014-2024)7% (for all public relations and fundraising managers)*
Median Salary (2015) $104,140 (for all public relations and fundraising managers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Will I Do as a Public Relations Manager?

Your primary duties are to promote a positive image of your employer or client, plan promotional campaigns, supervise public relations specialists and create quality promotional content. If your clients include non-profit organizations, you may also plan and direct fundraising events. Monitoring developments within your client's industry, writing press releases, drafting speeches and managing budgets are other duties. You can choose to specialize in a specific industry, such as manufacturing or health care, or in a particular area, like crisis management.

Where Could I Work?

Any business or other organization that needs to present its case or image to the public is a candidate to either employ or contract your services. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), colleges and universities, advertising and public relations firms, financial services firms, health care providers, professional associations and local government agencies are among the biggest employers of public relations managers (www.bls.gov).

What Is the Job Outlook?

The BLS also projected that employment of public relations manager will rise 7% from 2014-2024. Growth was predicted to be driven by an increased emphasis on establishing strong customer relationships and improving community outreach, particularly in the non-profit sector. As of May 2015, their median annual salary was $104,140, according to the BLS.

What Education Do I Need?

The BLS reports that many public relations managers are promoted to the position after gaining experience as a public relations specialist, so you may consider earning a degree that qualifies you to work in this position. A bachelor's degree in public relations is directly relevant; communications, marketing, advertising and journalism are other closely related possibilities. Some employers of public relations managers may look for candidates who also hold master's degrees in journalism or public relations.

Public relations degree programs teach you the theory and practice of tailoring a message that appeals to both the general public or specific segments of the population. Communication psychology, media research, visual communication, media ethics and promotional strategies are common course topics. Graduate programs may include additional classes related to corporate communications, public affairs, technical writing or public affairs. You may have to complete an internship or capstone project as well.

Can I Obtain a Professional Credential?

You may choose to earn the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation from the Public Relations Society of America (www.praccreditation.org). The APR exam tests your knowledge in ten subject areas, including business literacy, ethics, media relations and communication theory. Holding an APR demonstrates your capabilities in research, strategic planning and communication.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Three related careers that all require bachelor's degrees are public relations specialists, market research analysts and advertising, promotions and marketing managers. Public relations specialists also work to create a positive public image for their clients through media releases. Market research analysts study the market conditions and advise companies with their findings of what people will buy and at what cost. Advertising, promotions and marketing managers work to increase interest in a service or product.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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