Usually for the position of a public relations manager, a bachelor's degree in public relations, communication, advertising, or journalism is required. Graduate degrees especially for high level positions are also preferred by various organizations. Some educational programs like a course in writing, advertising, business, and political science are also given an added advantage in getting the positions at the entry level. Also, PR manager positions require previous experience in public relations and management and this is expected by most organizations.
Although not necessary, a public relations manager having the designation of Accredited in Public Relations conferred by the Public Relations Society of America is given preference by most of the employers as this is considered a sign of expertise of an individual in the public relations field. The two important degree options in public relations include Bachelor of Science in Public Relations or a Bachelor of Art in Public Relations. Both these degree options provide a student the skills required for competition in areas like media relations, general communication, and public relations.
Other skills' requirement of a PR manager vary by the nature of the industry he is in, but there are some attributes which are common and essential for public relations managers working anywhere. He should have command over written and verbal communication. By nature a PR Manager should be flexible, determined, and enthusiastic and should possess the ability to cope well under pressure and deadlines. Thoroughness and problem solving ability is another attribute that a successful PR manager possesses.
A public relations manager must be able to think strategically, creatively, and with imagination. He should have good confidence and good presentation skills. A PR Manager should be capable of handling one than one project at a time with excellent time management skills. A public relations manager should be dedicated and self motivated. He should have thorough knowledge of implementing comprehensive public relations programs. At times a PR manager could be required to work under tight deadlines. Knowledge of the sector he is working in is definitely an added advantage.
Job duties of a public relations manager are very vast. He directs team of public relations specialists and chalks out programs aimed to convey value of the products or an organization to the targeted audience. For this purpose, he utilizes writing press releases, arranges special events and promotions, and develops contacts with media professionals. A PR manager keeps special attention that a company's message or advertisement reaches the targeted audience. He is a leader in his company in this sphere. He has to keep monitoring on societal trends and opinions. A public relations manager oversees public relations specialists and manages scenarios for internal and external public relations campaign with an aim to improve the image of an organization, service, or product, or enhance awareness about it.
The salary of a public relations manager is largely comparable to those in related industries such as marketing, sales, and advertising. The salary of a public relations manager varies by size, type, and location of the organization, and the level of responsibility he is assigned and the degree of experience and specialization he possesses. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the year 2007, the average national salary of Public relations manager was in the range of $56,250 (national low) to $79,750 (national high) compared to the national low & high in respect of Public relations specialists being $36,500 to $51,000.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts average employment growth of 12 percent through 2016 in the job of a public relations manager which indicates a fair growth potential in this profession. There will be faster growth in scientific and technology related businesses. There could be intense competition for the job of public relations management. A candidate who has taken part in management training programs or has acquired extensive knowledge of digital communications is expected to be in an advantageous position.
A public relations job can be in different forms in different organizations. In some organizations a public relations manager works in a general capacity while in other organizations he will focus on specialist areas of public relations such as investor relations, public affairs, media relations, marketing communications, corporate communications, internal communications, or customer relations.