Career Development

What Does a PR Specialist Do?

Find out what a PR specialist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a PR specialist.

PR specialists are responsible for creating and executing public relations campaigns for their organization. They commonly work with senior leadership to develop a PR strategy that aligns with the company’s overall goals.

Once this strategy is in place, they take charge of implementing it by developing content, pitching stories to journalists, managing relationships with media outlets, and overseeing other PR-related activities.

PR Specialist Job Duties

PR specialists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Developing effective communication strategies to promote products or services while maintaining a positive image for the company
  • Researching and analyzing industry trends to track competitor activity and identify new opportunities for the company
  • Writing content for print, digital, broadcast, and other forms of media, such as creating ad copy or composing blog posts
  • Managing social media accounts for brands or organizations, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Developing and implementing public relations campaigns for special events such as fundraisers or product launches
  • Developing media lists and maintaining contact information for key journalists, writers, bloggers, etc. who cover the industry or organization’s area of focus
  • Coordinating with marketing staff on the development of advertising campaigns, including TV commercials or print ads
  • Planning events such as press conferences, product launches, or awards ceremonies
  • Monitoring media coverage for feedback on existing campaigns, adjusting strategies as needed

PR Specialist Salary & Outlook

Public relations specialists’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses or commissions.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $95,000 ($45.67/hour)

The employment of PR specialists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the increasing importance of public relations in business and organizations’ desire to control costs. As companies continue to downsize, they will need fewer PR specialists but will want them to do more with less.

PR Specialist Job Requirements

A PR specialist typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most PR specialists have a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, English, public relations or another related field. Some employers may hire candidates who have a degree in a non-related field if they have relevant work experience.

Training & Experience: Many employers will require a candidate to have at least two years of experience in a related field. This experience can be in a marketing or public relations role, or in a related field such as journalism. Some employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree, but many will accept a master’s degree.

Certifications & Licenses: Certifications can prove a professional’s qualifications to current and potential employers. PR specialists can earn certifications to gain more theoretical knowledge of their responsibilities, test their professional skills and further advance their career.

PR Specialist Skills

PR specialists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the act of conveying information to others. PR specialists use communication skills to convey messages to the public about their clients’ products or services. They also use communication skills to collaborate with other members of their team.

Public speaking: Public speaking skills allow you to communicate effectively with large groups of people. As a PR specialist, you may be required to give presentations to executive teams, clients or the media. Public speaking skills can help you feel more confident when speaking in front of a group and allow you to convey your message effectively.

Marketing: Marketing skills are another important aspect of a PR specialist’s skill set. They use marketing skills to create and implement campaigns, including developing strategies, creating collateral materials and managing budgets. They also use marketing skills to analyze campaign results and make adjustments as needed.

Research: Research is the ability to find and interpret information. PR specialists use research skills to find information about their clients and their clients’ competitors. They use research skills to find information about the media outlets their clients want to target and the types of stories those outlets have published in the past. They use research skills to find information about the demographics of their clients’ target audiences.

Social media: Social media is a common tool for PR professionals to use to promote their clients’ brands. This includes creating posts, interacting with followers and monitoring comments and reactions to posts. PR professionals with social media skills can use these skills to create and manage a company’s social media accounts. They can also use social media to research and gather information for campaigns.

PR Specialist Work Environment

Public relations specialists work in a variety of settings, including corporate offices, public relations firms, and government agencies. They typically work full time and may have to work evenings and weekends to attend events or meet deadlines. Many public relations specialists travel to attend conferences, meet with clients, or conduct research. Some jobs may require frequent travel.

PR Specialist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how PR specialists work. PR specialists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Skills

The need for more technical skills is a trend that is quickly becoming apparent in the PR industry. As businesses become more reliant on digital media, they are looking for professionals who can help them create and manage their online presence.

PR specialists who are able to utilize technology will be in high demand, as they will be able to help businesses develop and execute effective online marketing campaigns. In order to stay ahead of the curve, PR professionals should focus on developing their technical skills, such as web design and social media management.

More Focus on Digital Marketing

As businesses continue to shift towards digital marketing, PR professionals will need to focus on developing expertise in this area.

By understanding how to use digital channels like social media and search engine optimization, PR professionals can help their clients reach a wider audience and generate more leads. Additionally, by working with other members of the marketing team, PR professionals can help to create a cohesive message that is consistent across all channels.

A Greater Emphasis on Branding

Branding has always been an important part of business, but it is becoming even more important in today’s economy. As customers become more informed and discerning, they are looking for products and services that reflect their values and interests.

PR professionals can capitalize on this trend by helping their clients to build strong brands that resonate with their target audience. This requires a deep understanding of what makes people tick and what they value most.

How to Become a PR Specialist

A career in PR can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s important to start off on the right foot. One of the best ways to do this is by developing a strong network. Attend industry events, connect with professionals on LinkedIn, and offer to help other people in your field whenever you can.

You should also keep an eye out for opportunities to learn new skills. Take online courses or attend workshops that will help you develop your PR skillset. And don’t be afraid to try new things; if there’s a new tool or technique that could help you do your job better, give it a shot.

Related: How to Write a PR Specialist Resume

Advancement Prospects

A PR specialist may advance in several ways. One is to move into a management position, such as public relations manager. Another is to specialize in a particular area, such as investor relations, media relations, or community relations. Some public relations specialists become consultants, working for themselves or for PR firms.

Those who are interested in writing may move into positions such as technical writer, copywriter, or editor. Those who are interested in research may become market research analysts. And those who are interested in sales may become sales managers.

PR Specialist Job Description Example

Are you a creative thinker with a passion for writing and a knack for media relations? If so, we’d like you to join our team as our public relations specialist. In this role, you’ll be responsible for creating and executing PR campaigns that promote our brand and products/services to the public. You’ll also be responsible for maintaining relationships with members of the media and responding to media inquiries. To be successful in this role, you should have excellent writing and communication skills, as well as experience with media relations.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute creative public relations campaigns that generate positive media coverage and enhance the client’s reputation
  • Write press releases, pitch letters, and other materials to promote the client in a favorable light to key media outlets
  • Develop and maintain relationships with members of the media to secure placement of stories about the client in print, online, and broadcast outlets
  • Plan and coordinate publicity events, such as press conferences, media tours, and product launches
  • Monitor news stories, social media, and other sources of information to identify opportunities or threats to the client’s reputation
  • Research and write articles, white papers, case studies, and other content to promote the client’s products or services
  • Create and manage social media accounts for the client, developing and posting content on a regular basis
  • Monitor trends in the PR industry and keep abreast of new technologies and approaches
  • Train and mentor junior staff members in PR techniques and best practices
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for the client, keeping them updated on campaign progress and results
  • Prepare monthly reports detailing the effectiveness of PR campaigns and suggesting areas of improvement
  • Stay within budget when planning and executing PR campaigns

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, or related field
  • 3-5 years professional experience in public relations, marketing, or a related field
  • Exceptional writing, editing, and proofreading skills
  • Strong media relations skills and proven success securing media placements
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in public relations, communications, or related field
  • Experience developing and executing PR campaigns
  • Experience with social media platforms and analytics
  • Familiarity with design software programs, such as Photoshop and InDesign
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving skills

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