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Become A Community Relations Representative

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Working As A Community Relations Representative

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $50,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Community Relations Representative Do

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals. 

Duties

Public relations specialists typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Respond to information requests from the media
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Help maintain their organization's corporate image and identity
  • Draft speeches and arrange interviews for an organization’s top executives
  • Evaluate advertising and promotion programs to determine whether they are compatible with their organization’s public relations efforts
  • Evaluate public opinion of clients through social media

Public relations specialists, also called communications specialists and media specialists, handle an organization’s communication with the public, including consumers, investors, reporters, and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.

Public relations specialists draft press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of public relations specialists. For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what an organization does concerning that issue.

Press releases are increasingly being sent through the Internet and social media, in addition to publication through traditional media outlets. Public relations specialists are often in charge of monitoring and responding to social media questions and concerns.

Public relations specialists are different from advertisers in that they get their stories covered by media instead of purchasing ad space in publications and on television.

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How To Become A Community Relations Representative

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Employers prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

Education

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Through such programs, students produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates their ability to prospective employers.

Training

Entry-level workers typically begin by maintaining files of material about an organization’s activities, skimming and retaining relevant media articles, and assembling information for speeches and pamphlets. After gaining experience, public relations specialists begin to write news releases, speeches, articles for publication, or carry out public relations programs.

Other Experience

Internships at public relations firms or in the public relations departments of other businesses can be helpful in getting a job as a public relations specialist.

Some employers prefer candidates that have experience communicating with others through a school newspaper or a leadership position in school or in their community.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Public relations specialists deal with the public and the media regularly; therefore, they must be open and friendly to maintain a favorable image for their organization.

Organizational skills. Public relations specialists are often in charge of managing several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Public relations specialists sometimes must explain how a company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

Speaking skills. Public relations specialists regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to clearly explain the organization’s position.

Writing skills. Public relations specialists must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them in a short, succinct way to get the attention of busy readers or listeners.

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Community Relations Representative jobs

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Community Relations Representative Demographics

Gender

Female

74.7%

Male

23.9%

Unknown

1.4%
Ethnicity

White

82.1%

Hispanic or Latino

10.0%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

1.1%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.5%

Portuguese

7.7%

Vietnamese

7.7%

French

7.7%

Dakota

7.7%

Mandarin

7.7%
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Community Relations Representative Education

Schools

University of South Florida

7.7%

University of Oklahoma

7.7%

Western Michigan University

6.2%

University of Phoenix

6.2%

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

6.2%

Illinois State University

4.6%

University of West Florida

4.6%

Liberty University

4.6%

Southern Wesleyan University

4.6%

Texas State University

4.6%

Georgia State University

4.6%

East Carolina University

4.6%

Saint Louis University-

4.6%

University of Missouri - Saint Louis

4.6%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

4.6%

University of Southern California

4.6%

Walden University

4.6%

Georgia Southern University

4.6%

Barton College

3.1%

San Jose State University

3.1%
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Majors

Business

19.2%

Communication

10.4%

Psychology

7.8%

Marketing

7.8%

Social Work

5.2%

Management

5.2%

Health Care Administration

5.2%

Public Relations

5.2%

Journalism

5.2%

Sociology

3.6%

Elementary Education

3.1%

Counseling Psychology

3.1%

School Counseling

2.6%

Kinesiology

2.6%

Nursing

2.6%

Education

2.6%

Human Resources Management

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.1%

English

2.1%

Public Administration

2.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.3%

Masters

24.5%

Other

15.2%

Associate

6.3%

Certificate

4.0%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.3%

Diploma

0.3%
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Top Skills for A Community Relations Representative

CommunityRelationsActivitiesHospiceServicesCommunityEventsHealthInsuranceCommunityOutreachProgramsCommunityOrganizationsCommunityLeadersPublicSpeakingEngagementsSpecialEventsDischargePlannersSocialWorkersHealthFairsPotentialMembersCommunityPartnersBusinessDevelopmentPressReleasesLocalBusinessesProviderOfficesEnhancePresenceGeneralPublic

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Top Community Relations Representative Skills

  1. Community Relations Activities
  2. Hospice Services
  3. Community Events
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Deliver education regarding hospice services to key decision makers to provide to appropriate patients.
  • Set up and present at conferences and community events throughout the region.
  • Involved with neighborhood school functions to survey potential families who needed health insurance.
  • Worked with the Director of Community Relations to implement community outreach programs including grass roots education and regional relationship management.
  • Networked with community organizations and local and State officials to plan State Farm's participation in sponsored events.

Top Community Relations Representative Employers

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Community Relations Representative Videos

Sony Online Entertainment: Linda Carlson, Director Community Relations talks MMO Game Careers

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