You have a particularly good chance if you've got expertise in finance, international affairs, science, tech, or medicine. Other specialized fields are also looking bright. Employers of PR workers range from private businesses to government positions, as well as universities, hospitals, schools, and non-profit organizations. There are thousands of public relations agencies out there, offering services to clients around the world. That stacks up to over a hundred thousand great PR jobs, either in dedicated agencies or internal public relations offices.
Some of the biggest PR firms are based in media, government, and business centers, in cities like Chicago, New York, LA, and Washington, DC. In the United States alone, there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand PR professionals, and the number continues to grow. About two thirds of these people are working in, what are called service industries. These service industries include ad agencies, PR firms, educational institutions and organizations, health care organizations, social services, manufacturers, banks and other financial institutions, and the government sectors. Around thirteen thousand of these people work as PR consultants and are self-employed.
How much do people in PR jobs make? Well, the median salary for someone in a PR specialist job is around thirty-five thousand dollars a year. However, the top ten percent of professionals in the public relations field earn more than seventy thousand dollars per year, making the PR field one that's potentially quite lucrative.
In addition to the positions available in the US, there are many international public relations opportunities, too. New positions keep opening up, as more and more companies need to do business internationally. This means that people with additional language skills and a strong understanding of other cultures are sought after. The Public Relations Consultants Association — a global organization that works in many different countries — represents some of the biggest international PR employers out there.
If you have the right experience and education, and are willing to work for a good place in the industry, you're in the right place. However, you should be aware that there are a lot of others looking for these top jobs, too. The number of people aspiring to be PR professionals has been increasing as or perhaps even more quickly than the number of jobs. This means that you need to be great, because breaking into the profession could involve some stiff competition with other applicants.
Specialization of media outlets also means that professionals need to come to the table with an arsenal of skills. Once, you could have used a journalism degree and a few news clips. While having those isn’t a bad thing, more specialized training and experience are becoming necessary. That means seeking out good training in the field, and being willing to compromise with your employers. After all, PR jobs are known for requiring extra hours on big projects, travel, and sudden calls into the office.
To get into a public relations position in the modern job market, you'll need to have a degree related to the field in some way. A public relations degree is obviously best, but advertising, communications, and journalism are also effective courses of study. You'll need excellent skills in communication — written, telephonic, and in person — as well as an outgoing personality and strong public speaking skills.
You'll need to be able to demonstrate that you have special expertise in a useful field, and that you've done some internships or volunteer work that give you the experience to get an entry level job. Add in some effective networking strategies and getting a good PR job isn't all that hard.
After you get that first position, you'll have to remember to develop a good relationship with your targeted media, prepare quality promotional materials, represent your organization well, and stay on top of industry news. These, plus some self confidence and enthusiasm will help you rise through the ladder to even better positions. Check out professional organizations like the International Association of Business Communicators or the Public Relations Society of America to get support for your professional development.
The average person in public relations has a career path starting with entry-level jobs like account assistant and going up to account executive and supervisor positions, and even vice presidencies. After becoming an experienced professional, you may go on to open your own PR firm.
Want to find out more about getting into PR jobs? There are over two hundred colleges and a hundred grad schools offering public relations degrees, plus many other colleges will give PR coursework in other programs. That means you could be on the way to a new PR career soon!