The public relations industry is keenly competitive so much so that many can fail to rise up the ranks while many will rise and fall never to rise again. It is then an excellent idea to ask questions about the jobs in public relations before actually applying for these positions.
What are the Educational Qualifications?
As with other professions, the education requirements for public relations jobs vary depending on the specific industry in which the company belongs to, the specific positions being offered, and the specific demands of the job according to the employer. Nonetheless, entry-level jobs as public relations staff require a four-year college bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, marketing or public relations.
Many companies, however, will accept applicants with bachelor's degrees related to the industry in which the organization operates in. For example, an information technology company advertising entry-level jobs in PR will require an applicant to possess an IT-related degree coupled with personal qualifications applicable for the positions. Or government jobs PR posted on the official agency website will require applicants to have work experience related to the public sector even without the public relations-related degree.
What Certifications, If Any, Will Give an Edge?
We have to emphasize that professional recognition through accreditation and certification from a private professional organization like the Public Relations Society of America may not necessarily be required of applicants for the positions. However, these certifications are signs of competence in the field, and, thus, can provide for an edge in the highly competitive market for public relations jobs. These accreditations include the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) and the Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) designations.
Is An Internship Even Necessary?
Internships in public relations capacities are definitely an edge for professionals looking for both entry-level and specialist jobs in PR industry. Said internships provide the training ground in which to hone talents, skills, and competencies for a job well done no matter the position provided by the employer.
Many companies such as those offering government jobs PR will provide for in-house formal training programs geared towards new and present employees. Internships may then form a small part of the employer's hiring decision.
What Types of Jobs Are Available?
Contrary to popular notion, the public relations profession has many career paths waiting for the qualified individual. Keep in mind that both private and public sectors will hire public relations professionals in various capacities including but not limited to the following: media relations, industry relations, employee relations, community relations, advertising, marketing communications, special events, and fundraising.
What Are the Personal Qualifications Desired by Employers?
Of course, employers also look into the personal qualification of the applicants during the hiring process. These personal qualifications may include excellent oral and written communication skills, resourcefulness, creativity, ability to deal with all kinds of people and capacity to work under pressure. Time management is also an important skill.
What Are the Demands of the Job?
Public relations professionals often work in bustling offices where people just seem to come and go. The pressures of the work involve working for client satisfaction as well as with right deadlines looming in the near future. Although the working hours can be 9-to-5, overtimes during weekdays and weekends are common with many even working on irregular hours to catch up with the workload.
The actual demands of the job in terms of output vary depending on the position. The following are the most common in the profession:
- Draft press releases, maintain god working relationships with the media and coordinate with the media venues for special events related to the public relations efforts of the organization
- Arrange projects and programs that will boost the agency's image after a crisis such as the case with many government jobs PR
- Keep the public informed about the good things related to the company, which is true for all the public relations jobs