Job Requirements and Daily Activities
A public relations specialist is responsible for handling all corporate, consumer, industry, governmental, and community communications. The public relations specialist writes the copy for press releases, in addition to setting up contacts with the media to broadcast or distribute the message. Companies ensure that their public relations specialists draft and publish press releases announcing new products, earnings results, and any major benefits the given company provides the community. Many news stories start as press releases that are widely circulated.
Public relations specialists also connect community leaders with corporate leaders to ensure that there is a public presence for the given company’s senior management. If a company has instituted a new human resources policy that is beneficial to employees or has adopted processes or policies that improve the environment, health, or safety of the community, the corporate public relations specialist has a plan in place to ensure that the message is conveyed to all outside agencies quickly and reliably. From time to time, the public relations specialist may make multimedia presentations at community meetings, schools, or professional or political conventions. Either the public relations specialist or a senior manager in the company will deliver such a talk.
In large organizations, the top public relations specialist is usually a vice president or executive director. A vice president of public relations has the responsibility to work closely with marketing, operations, business development, finance, sales, and research to ensure that communications plans are unified and are harmonized with the goals of marketing campaigns.
The public relations specialist also coordinates disaster responses, especially if products or factories have major accidents or if other issues involving products or employees of the company arise. The VP of public relations will have the responsibility to implement a communications program that brings in the press to provide a framework for the event in question, as well as the plans the company has to help solve the problems caused by the incident.
Job Opportunities and Businesses with the Best PR Jobs
Many mid-size and large manufacturing, service, and consulting firms have public relations specialists on staff to help coordinate the image of the organization.
Multinational corporations have international PR jobs in which the public relations department’s employees help construct the image of the company in each country that it conducts business.
Agencies Supporting Companies That Outsource PR Jobs
Public relations professionals have a core group of competencies that are the same regardless of the industry, product, or service in question. Because of this, public relations agencies offer PR agency jobs to specialists who are able to work with individuals, teams, and companies that do not want to staff a PR department in their organization.
People who have become famous may hire a public relations agency to help develop a sustainable image, as well as to ensure that the appropriate venues are chosen for appearances and endorsements.
Sports PR jobs involve the responsibility of helping the owners of sports teams create an image of the given organization that is attractive to the local population, resulting in greater ticket sales and greater support for the construction of expensive sports complexes. Jobs in fashion PR help set the tone for buyers and purchasing agents for major department stores, as well as helping to determine the fashions for a season.
Education and Professional Organizations
Most entry-level public relations jobs require a bachelor’s degree in public relations, advertising, journalism, or communications. Many employers look for applicants who have experience using electronic media as well.
Because employers seek applicants who have experience working in the field, most colleges and universities offer internships in public relations with local firms.
New college graduates, as well as professionals desiring to extend networking opportunities, may join organizations such as the Public Relations Student Society of America, the Public Relations Society of America, or the International Association of Business Communicators.
Skills to Highlight on Resumes and Cover Letters for Public Relations Positions
All applicants for any public relations position should develop a portfolio of radio or television programs, published articles, multimedia presentations, and press releases that are relevant to the company.
Demonstrated cross-functional experience working with managers and departments, as well as a demonstrated sensitivity to the needs of the community and governmental agencies is a major area to emphasize.
Employers seek after strong presentation skills, as well as excellent written skills. Applicants are also encouraged to show demonstrated success while working under extremely tight deadlines. Most PR issues may require a response in minutes to hours rather than days.
Rewarding public relations jobs may be with organizations ranging in size from large corporations to small agencies. Candidates who are creative, have excellent judgment, and have the ability to clearly articulate thoughts and ideas may find an excellent career in public relations.