Many see the best PR jobs as those, which present the biggest challenges; operating on the ''if you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere'' theory. And certainly, some of the most skilled public relations personnel around are those who cut their teeth in damage control – one of the trickiest tasks which any jobs in PR will involve. In these cases, it is of course the PR director who will receive the credit or blame for the outcome of damage control efforts. Any PR director will have to deal with some sort of corporate missteps at one point in their career and this can be a great opportunity to prove oneself.
Obviously, anyone who would play the role of PR director needs to have an extensive record of success in the fields of public relations and/or marketing. In most cases, PR director is a senior level position, the exception being the case of small businesses who have the foresight to make public relations an integral part of their business plan from the beginning. The PR director will then typically be a person who has spent many years in the field and earned seniority while displaying an exceptional level of talent which has served them well in a public relations capacity or capacities in the past. A very high level of communications and interpersonal skills are an absolute must, being that public relations are all about public relations. This person must have a deep understanding of the best ways to clearly convey the company’s message to the public and especially to their target market, whether they are engaged in business to business communications or are employed in a consumer-focused industry.
Given that they will also play a supervisory role over the entire public relations staff at the company where they are employed, a PR director also needs to have a clear understanding of the duties entailed in any PR jobs in their company – which should be no problem, as a PR director has usually worked their way up the ladder within the department. A solid set of managerial skills is important, as are the very communication facilities which got them to where they are currently.
Perhaps the most important duty required of a PR director is to be the brains behind the development and implementation of public relations and communications campaigns and strategy. They will be involved every step of the way – from consultations (especially if employed by an agency, where the process will of course be client-driven) to concepts to strategic planning to implementation. The PR director will do this in a close working relationship with the marketing department and senior level staff. Typically, a new PR campaign must pass muster at a board meeting before it can take on a life of its own. Throughout the process, the PR director shepherds the campaign through to execution.
As jobs in PR go, the position of PR director is a challenging one, but is ideal for those who have proven themselves through a record of successful PR campaigns and is seen as a very desirable one for those who possess the requisite skills and are eager to put their vision to work.