As a Senior Public Relations Officer, a person must be willing and able to be the spokesperson for their company or organization. They must have the ability to communicate positively and effectively with members of the media, current and potential investors, as well as members of the general public. A PR job, however, is not just one of marketing, especially in the higher ranks. In addition to being proactive in broadcasting their employer's target image, the Senior Public Relations Officer must be prepared to manage difficult or crisis situations. When challenges present themselves within an organization, it is often the responsibility of the Senior Public Relations Officer to decide what and how to communicate specific details of any scenario to their constituents, all the while keeping in mind the image and strengths that their company is trying to uphold.
In addition to exceptional verbal communication skills, as with all PR jobs, the Senior Public Relations Officer must possess excellent written communication skills as well. Because he or she will regularly submit press releases, formal corporate correspondence, and written materials directly to clients, they must be able to prepare these items with ease. Presentations will most often require a combination of both written and verbal skills. Therefore this requirement cannot be overstated.
Alongside the many communication responsibilities, PR jobs also require excellent organizational and time-management skills as a person will often be expected to plan and attend meetings and events. Depending on the size of the organization and the scope of the events, the Senior Public Relations Officer will either directly coordinate or execute the details of those events, or he or she will have the authority to direct subordinate staff in the planning and execution of all the various elements. Multi-tasking abilities are also fundamental given the wide range of duties, responsibilities, and expectations of a Senior Public Relations Officer.
Because Senior Public Relations Officer is very high level in terms of PR jobs, it is generally expected that the candidate have a Masters degree from an accredited institution in Communication, Journalism, Business, or related field. Demonstrable experience in writing and presenting in a corporate environment is also highly desirable. Additionally, a minimum of five years of experience working in the lower levels of Public Relations is a common requirement. Therefore, if a candidate's eventual target job title is Senior Public Relations Officer, it is important to obtain an entry level PR job as soon as possible after entering the work force so that their skills, experience, and reputation can be built on a strong foundation.