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Become A Community Relations Specialist

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Working As A Community Relations Specialist

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

  • Stressful

  • $56,770

    Average Salary

What Does A Community Relations Specialist 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 Specialist

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 Specialist jobs

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Community Relations Specialist Career Paths

Community Relations Specialist
Outreach Coordinator Communications Specialist Marketing Specialist
Associate Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Community Relations Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Brand Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Senior Product Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Senior Manager Communications Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
7 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Senior Account Manager Public Relations
Director Of Publications Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Community Relations Director Business Developer Communications Manager
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Outreach Coordinator Communications Coordinator Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
8 Yearsyrs
Community Relations Director Development Director Marketing Consultant
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Consultant Marketing Communications Manager
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Coordinator Program Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Marketing Consultant Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Senior Director Of Marketing
13 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Director Of Public Affairs Campaign Manager
University Relations Director
7 Yearsyrs
Community Relations Manager Communications Director
Vice President Of Communication
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Community Liaison 2.3 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 8.7%
Consultant 3.4%
Top Employers After
Volunteer 3.8%
Director 3.8%

Community Relations Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

72.7%

Male

25.3%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

80.2%

Hispanic or Latino

11.1%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0%

French

5.7%

Portuguese

4.3%

German

4.3%

Russian

4.3%

Vietnamese

2.9%

Tagalog

2.9%

Polish

2.9%

Italian

2.9%

Filipino

1.4%

Chinese

1.4%

Ukrainian

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Deseret

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%
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Community Relations Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.8%

Walden University

7.2%

Ball State University

6.5%

Pennsylvania State University

5.8%

University of Central Florida

5.8%

Baylor University

5.1%

Prairie View A & M University

4.3%

New York University

4.3%

Temple University

4.3%

University of Houston

4.3%

University of North Texas

3.6%

Auburn University

3.6%

Ohio State University

3.6%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.6%

Youngstown State University

3.6%

Webster University

3.6%

Michigan State University

2.9%

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

2.9%

Southern Nazarene University

2.9%

Troy University

2.9%
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Majors

Business

25.0%

Communication

13.3%

Public Relations

7.4%

Marketing

5.4%

Psychology

5.3%

Journalism

5.1%

Education

4.7%

Management

4.4%

Political Science

3.3%

English

3.0%

Nursing

2.8%

Social Work

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.8%

Criminal Justice

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Graphic Design

2.1%

Sociology

2.1%

Public Administration

1.9%

Human Services

1.9%

Public Health

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.0%

Masters

27.1%

Other

13.1%

Associate

6.0%

Certificate

3.4%

Doctorate

1.5%

License

0.5%

Diploma

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Community Relations Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
General Mngr., Communications, Relations & Corp. S Citgo Petroleum Corporation Houston, TX Sep 30, 2010 $167,350
Digital Publishing Community Relations Specialist Quora, Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 04, 2015 $100,000
Communications & College Relations Specialist The City University of New York New York, NY Dec 22, 2013 $68,024
Communications and Community Relations Specialist Cleary University Howell, MI Aug 31, 2009 $66,000
Communications & College Relations Specialist The City University of New York New York, NY Dec 21, 2012 $64,956
Community Relations Specialist/Healthcare Grandcare, LLC Hayward, CA Nov 02, 2009 $62,610
Community Relations Specialist/Healthcare Grancare, LLC Hayward, CA Nov 02, 2009 $62,610
Membership Relations and Communications Specialist St. Mark Coptic Orthodox Church of Washington, D.C Fairfax, VA Jun 20, 2011 $52,175
Public Relations & Community Relations Specialist The Resort at Pelican Hill CA Feb 10, 2014 $48,000
Communication Specialist/Pr Calliope Com LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $44,000
Corporate Communications/Relations Specialist Ferrante PLLC New York, NY Sep 12, 2014 $40,082

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Top Skills for A Community Relations Specialist

CommunityRelationsCommunityEventsPressReleasesAssistanceCommunityOrganizationsITTTechnicalSpecialEventsDisasterSurvivorsHospiceServicesLocalCommunityKeyCommunityLeadersFemaOpenHousesFacebookLocalHighSchoolsCustomerServiceEffectiveRelationshipsEventPlanningHealthFairsReputationDevelopmentEvents

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Top Community Relations Specialist Skills

  1. Community Relations
  2. Community Events
  3. Press Releases
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Visited two hazardous waste sites and wrote Community Relations Plans for the US Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Staffed community events, and organizer of outside events.
  • Designed and managed the production of newsletters, press releases, and publication articles to increase program awareness.
  • Solicited to handle and coordinate assistance to address the elderly and special needs populations.
  • Create and maintain effective relationships with local high school administration, community organizations, elected officials, and community leaders.

Top Community Relations Specialist Employers

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Community Relations Specialist Videos

Career Advice - PR and Corporate Communications

A Day in the Life - Public Relations Manager

Chief Marketing Officer: Why Public Relations - Janice Cosby Bridges Career Girls Role Model

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