What Are the Job Duties for a Typical PR Career?

Helping a company, individual, or organization maintain a favorable image is the responsibility of a public relations (PR) specialist, also known as a communications or media specialist. If you want to start a career in PR, you should first earn a degree in communications, journalism, or marketing. Read on for some of the job duties of a public relations professional. Schools offering Public Relations degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Generally speaking, public relations (PR) specialists work for or with an organization to help maintain a positive image in the public eye. Although specific job duties may vary by employer, industry, and experience, the following categories of responsibilities are typically required of PR specialists.

Important Facts About Public Relations

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Key skills Interpersonal, organizational, problem-solving, speaking and writing skills
Work Environment Office setting, travel is occasionally required
Similar Occupations Advertising, promotions and marketing managers; market research analysts; writers and authors

Writing Press Releases

Many positive business-, organization-, or government-related stories that end up in newspapers, on the radio, or on television start out as press releases by PR specialists. A press release can focus on a manufacturer's product or product development, an organization's internal business policies or community outreach, or a government official's or agency's response to a public policy issue. PR releases are usually short, but still must be informative enough to persuade an editor to either print the release or take the information as a lead for a larger story.

Developing Media Contacts

Editors and producers receive multiple press releases every day. They are the ones who decide what happens next - whether your release is printed or broadcasted, if it warrants a further look as a story or feature, or if it winds up in the dustbin. Some PR specialists enter the profession after spending time working for newspapers, magazines, or in broadcasting. Whether or not you have previous journalism experience, it will be helpful for you to develop a network of editors and producers who are receptive to your press releases because they know that the copy is well-written and researched.

Maintaining Positive Client Relationships

Whether your client is a large corporation, a small business, a non-profit organization, or an individual, it is essential that, as a PR professional, you develop a level of trust between yourself and your client. Developing and maintaining a relationship with your client will increase the likelihood of that person relying on your expertise in forming a public image.

Planning Appearances and Events

Products and services are often displayed to the public at conventions or community events. You might be responsible for planning the venue, designing and constructing a display, and/or coordinating and recruiting other organizations to participate. Many organizations and businesses also offer to provide lectures at events. As the PR specialist, you'd plan these appearances and may even write speeches or contribute in other ways to their presentations.

Employment Outlook and Salary Statistics

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov) predicts that job opportunities for PR specialists will grow by about 6% between 2014 and 2024, which is considered on par with the national average. Because there are more applicants for jobs than there are positions available, competition will continue to remain tough in the field; individuals with more experience and higher levels of education may have an advantage in securing a job. The median annual salary earned by PR specialists was reported as $55,680 in May 2014 by the BLS.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »