Career Development

What Does a Public Relations Specialist Do?

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

Public relations specialists are the people who shape how we see companies, products, and even entire industries. They work hard to ensure that their clients get positive attention from journalists, bloggers, social media influencers, and other members of the media.

Public relations specialists may also be responsible for managing relationships with stakeholders or other interested parties outside of the media. This might include working with advocacy groups, community organizations, or other individuals who have an interest in the company’s activities.

Public Relations Specialist Job Duties

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

  • Preparing press releases, news releases, or other written communications that promote awareness of the organization’s activities
  • Coordinating media coverage of special events such as conferences, seminars, or concerts
  • Writing speeches for executives and other public figures to deliver at events
  • Coordinating with other departments within the organization to plan and promote special events
  • Researching and developing story ideas that are relevant to the organization’s activities
  • Planning and hosting events to promote awareness of an organization’s mission and activities
  • Preparing presentations about company activities and achievements to groups such as shareholders or industry associations
  • Conducting research on public opinion about the organization’s products or services
  • Developing media contacts in order to secure coverage in major publications or broadcast stations

Public Relations 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.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

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

Organizations will continue to need public relations specialists to help communicate with customers, clients, and other stakeholders. Organizations also will need these workers to promote their brands and maintain a positive image in an era of social media and online reviews.

Public Relations Specialist Job Requirements

A public relations specialist typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: A bachelor’s degree is a minimum requirement for most public relations specialist positions. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in public relations, communications or journalism.

Training & Experience: Public relations specialists typically receive on-the-job training in the form of an orientation period with a company. During this time, they learn about the company’s products and services, the target audience and the methods of communication. They also learn about the company’s policies and procedures.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not always required, some employers may expect or require them, so certifications can be a good way to different yourself from other candidates.

Public Relations Specialist Skills

Public relations specialists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Public relations specialists communicate with a variety of audiences, including the media, company executives, employees, clients and the general public. They use verbal and written communication skills to convey messages and information. Effective communication skills can help a public relations specialist convey messages and information in a clear and concise manner.

Research: Public relations specialists need to be able to conduct research to find information about their clients or organizations. They may research topics that are relevant to their clients to find information that they can use to create content for their clients. They may also research their clients’ audiences to find information that is relevant to them.

Networking: Public relations specialists often use networking skills to build relationships with potential clients, colleagues and other individuals who can help them advance their careers. They may also use networking skills to find information about their clients and their clients’ industries.

Time management: Public relations specialists often have multiple projects they need to complete simultaneously. This can include writing a press release, preparing a social media post and updating a company website. Having strong time management skills can help you prioritize your work and ensure you complete all of your tasks in a timely manner.

Writing: Public relations specialists often write press releases, social media posts and other forms of communication. Effective writing skills can help you create messages that resonate with your audience and encourage them to take action. You may also write speeches, proposals and other documents that can help you advance your career.

Public Relations Specialist Work Environment

Public relations specialists work in a variety of settings, including corporate offices, public relations firms, advertising agencies, and government agencies. They typically work full time, and some may work more than 40 hours per week to meet deadlines or deal with crisis situations. Many public relations specialists travel frequently to attend conferences, meet with clients, or conduct research. Some public relations specialists work from home, using teleconferencing and other technologies to stay in touch with their clients and colleagues.

Public Relations Specialist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how public relations specialists work. Public relations 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

As public relations becomes more complex, the need for professionals with technical skills increases. This is because public relations specialists are now responsible for a wider range of tasks, such as social media management and content creation.

Public relations specialists who are able to utilize these new tools will be in high demand, as they will be able to create more engaging and effective campaigns. In addition, they will be better equipped to handle the ever-changing world of digital media.

The Emergence of Digital PR

The emergence of digital PR is a trend that is quickly changing the way businesses communicate with their customers. As technology advances, businesses are finding new ways to connect with their customers through social media channels, blogs, and other digital platforms.

Public relations professionals who are able to utilize these new technologies will be better positioned to reach potential customers and build trust with them. They will also be better equipped to manage customer feedback and respond to questions and comments quickly.

More Collaboration Between Marketing and PR

As marketing and PR become more integrated, public relations professionals will need to learn how to collaborate with their counterparts.

This trend is already being seen in many companies, where marketing and PR teams are working together to create cohesive campaigns that reach a wide audience. Public relations professionals who are able to work well with others will be in high demand, as they will be able to contribute valuable insights and ideas to these campaigns.

How to Become a Public Relations Specialist

A career in public relations is a great way to use your writing skills and build relationships with people in different industries. It’s important to have a well-rounded skill set, so try to develop your abilities in both writing and communication. You should also be able to think strategically about how to reach your target audience.

One of the best ways to get started in public relations is to volunteer for local organizations that need help with their communications efforts. This will give you experience working with different types of media and developing messages that resonate with your audience. You can also network with professionals in the field and attend industry events to learn more about PR strategies.

Related: How to Write a Public Relations Specialist Resume

Advancement Prospects

Advancement for public relations specialists generally comes with experience and proven success in the field. Many specialists start out as assistants to more experienced professionals and gradually assume more responsibility. With experience, they may become account executives, responsible for planning and directing public relations programs for their clients. Some specialists may advance to become public relations or corporate communications directors. Those who own their own public relations firms may advance to the position of chief executive officer.

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