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Understanding the important skills required for Public Affair Jobs

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Every organization is likely to experience a major crisis at some point. However, it is not the crisis that brings down many organizations but it is the response to the incident. Whereas clients and the public at large do understand that any organization can make a mistake or be caught up in circumstances that threaten its reputation, it is how the organization's management handles the situation that will inspire confidence. Holders of public affairs jobs are the professional goodwill ambassadors for the organization they work for or represent. Public affairs careers can be found in corporations, not for profit organizations, and the government.

Responsibilities of a PR

Anyone recruited in public affairs employment role is expected to maintain a positive and productive relationship with the media, regulators, government agencies, leaders of the community they work in, customers, and the public at large. A person in a public affairs career must have the ability to think on their feet and quickly formulate responses that protect the organization's brand and reputation. However, they must at the same time have credibility with third parties by being truthful in their communication or requesting more time where information on a particular incident is not yet available.

A public affairs job requires that one have good communication, speech, and writing capabilities. Often the PR professional will be required to provide input in the preparation of a speech a senior executive such as the chief executive officer or the chief operations officer is set to deliver during a media event.

The public affairs job holder must have the judgment to know what the most appropriate message is for a particular audience. Speeches delivered to clients, shareholders, the community, the press, business associates, and agencies of the government even when communicating a similar message may have to be slightly modified in order to address the specific concerns and areas of interest for each audience.

Even though public affair careers have to liaise with and depend on other departments in order to provide correct and up to date information, the PR officer must be proactive and have an eye for the bigger picture. A self control and a calm disposition is one of the most important skills of the PR professional. During adverse incidents, the persons in public affairs employment are often under tremendous pressure from the press and public to provide satisfactory answers.

Losing one's temper in such circumstances would only worsen the risk posed to the organization's reputation. Answers to even the most preposterous questions must be done systematically using easy to follow logic. The public affairs job holder should use communication techniques that calm their audience, provide assurance that the institution's management is in control and doing all they can to bring everything back to normal.

So what are the academic requirements for a public affairs career? The best public affairs employment will require the applicant to hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in public relations even though an undergraduate degree in advertising, communications, or marketing is often acceptable. The level of responsibility means that a fresh graduate is unlikely to be hired as the top public affairs person in any organization. One must accumulate sufficient experience in a lower cadre position where they can prove and sharpen their media relations and communications skills.

Public affairs jobs are senior positions and the competence of the person holding the position has a major impact on the organization's success. The PR officer or manager will usually report to and work closely with the organization's top management since their role is closely tied to the institution's goals and missions. The PR professional will have difficulty discharging their role if they are not intimately familiar with their firm's strategic plans.

Where to Look

Looking to explore the options available for you in public affairs careers? Visit today, sign up for a free trial and get on the way to finding your dream job. There are thousands of public affairs jobs listings catering for people in different phases of their public affairs careers - from the fresh graduates to communications directors.
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