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Become A Media Relations Specialist

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Working As A Media Relations Specialist

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

  • Stressful

  • $66,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Media 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 Media 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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Media Relations Specialist Jobs

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Media Relations Specialist Career Paths

Media Relations Specialist
Assistant Manager Account Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager General Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Communications Director
Director Of Public Affairs
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Owner Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Program Manager Property Manager
Assistant Director, Communications
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Assistant Director
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Property Manager Communications Director
Community Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Team Leader Sales Manager Sales And Marketing Manager
Events Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Manager Principal Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Manager Product Manager Brand Manager
Head Of Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Manager Of Corporate Communications
Internal Communications Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Media Relations Manager Public Relations Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Consultant Communications Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Marketing Consultant Communications Consultant
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Freelance Marketing Consultant Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Consultant Communications Consultant Public Information Officer
Public Affairs Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager/Project Manager Marketing Account Manager
Digital Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Media Relations Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Media Specialist 2.9 years
Specialist 2.6 years
Media Assistant 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Media Relations Specialist
Internship 10.3%
Cashier 7.9%
Reporter 3.3%
Volunteer 2.7%
Editor 2.5%
Teller 2.5%
Server 2.2%
Supervisor 2.0%
Top Careers After Media Relations Specialist
Manager 4.8%
Cashier 4.1%
Specialist 4.0%
Consultant 4.0%
Internship 4.0%

Do you work as a Media Relations Specialist?

Media Relations Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

62.4%

Male

27.2%

Unknown

10.4%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.1%

Black or African American

12.1%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

54.8%

French

11.3%

Portuguese

4.8%

Russian

4.3%

Mandarin

3.8%

Chinese

3.2%

Italian

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

German

2.2%

Swedish

1.6%

Hindi

1.6%

Urdu

1.6%

Hmong

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Turkish

0.5%

Romanian

0.5%

Azerbaijani

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Bengali

0.5%

Ojibwe

0.5%
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Media Relations Specialist Education

Schools

Arizona State University

18.9%

University of Phoenix

17.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.5%

George Washington University

4.3%

University of Maryland - University College

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.0%

Florida State University

4.0%

Liberty University

3.8%

West Virginia University

3.5%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.5%

University of South Florida

3.3%

New York University

3.3%

Walden University

3.3%

University of Texas at Austin

3.3%

Northern Illinois University

3.3%

Ashford University

3.0%

Temple University

3.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%

Howard University

3.0%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

3.0%
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Majors

Business

22.5%

Communication

13.3%

Journalism

6.6%

Psychology

5.6%

Political Science

5.3%

Marketing

5.2%

Public Relations

4.6%

English

4.5%

Management

4.4%

Health Care Administration

3.8%

Human Resources Management

3.4%

Criminal Justice

2.9%

Accounting

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

General Studies

2.5%

Law

2.4%

Sociology

2.1%

Medical Assisting Services

1.9%

Public Administration

1.8%

Education

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.6%

Masters

18.0%

Other

17.8%

Associate

8.9%

Certificate

3.9%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$66,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$38,000
Min 10%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$66,000
Median 50%
$114,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
McKinsey & Company
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Media Relations Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Media Relations Specialist in the United States is $66,358 per year or $32 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $114,000.

Real Media Relations Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Audience Relations Specialist Sap Global Marketing, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Nov 21, 2016 $136,868 -
$178,415
Label Relations Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 13, 2016 $132,860 -
$151,300
Media Relations Specialist Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR May 01, 2016 $98,467 -
$175,400
Corporate Relations Specialist University of California at Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA Oct 20, 2014 $95,636
Corporate Relations Specialist University of California at Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA Jan 03, 2014 $95,636
Media Relations Specialist Intel Corporation Hillsboro, OR Aug 24, 2015 $82,618 -
$152,800
Donor Relations Specialist San Diego Center for Children San Diego, CA Sep 03, 2015 $82,000
International Relations Specialist Liberty World Trade Inc. Farmingdale, NY Apr 29, 2011 $80,933 -
$80,950
International Relations Specialist Liberty World Trade Inc. Farmingdale, NY Jul 12, 2011 $80,933 -
$80,950
Shareholder Relations Specialist Citgo Petroleum Corporation Houston, TX Feb 09, 2016 $75,000
Media Relations Specialist Access Now New York, NY Nov 11, 2013 $75,000
Media Relations Senior Specialist Maxmara USA Inc. New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $72,000
Vendor Relations Specialist American Airlines, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Mar 07, 2011 $70,201
Media Relations Specialist The Ortiz Law Firm, PLLC Irving, TX Dec 15, 2016 $50,000
Media Relations Specialist Feit Management Company Hollywood, FL Sep 20, 2013 $50,000
Media Relations Specialist Feit Management Company Hollywood, FL Aug 16, 2013 $50,000
Spanish Media Relations Specialist The Ortiz Law Firm, PLLC Irving, TX Oct 08, 2016 $49,171
Production & Media Relations Specialist Collective Heritage Institute San Francisco, CA Dec 22, 2016 $48,900
Media Relations Specialist El Venezolano TV Inc. Miami, FL Jan 09, 2016 $48,500
Media Relations Specialist Cyberlink.com Corp. Santa Clara, CA Oct 15, 2011 $47,271
Media Relations Specialist Cyberlink.com Corporation Santa Clara, CA Oct 01, 2011 $47,271
Media Relations Specialist YMF Carpets, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Nov 10, 2014 $41,761
Media Relations Specialist Criteria Entertainment Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 08, 2015 $41,761
Media Relations Specialist Singpoli Capital Corporation Pasadena, CA Sep 10, 2014 $41,761
Media Relations Specialist YMF Carpets, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Sep 04, 2014 $41,761
International Media Relations Specialist CJ CGV America La, LLC Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2014 $41,761
Media Relations Specialist Talarico Building Service, Inc. Bellmawr, NJ Sep 10, 2012 $41,740
Media Relations Specialist Talarico Building Services, Inc. Bellmawr, NJ Oct 01, 2012 $41,740
Media Relations Specialist Adwell Communications, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 17, 2013 $41,740

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Top Skills for A Media Relations Specialist

  1. Customer Service
  2. Press Releases
  3. Phone Calls
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed wide variety of customer service and administrative tasks to resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Supervised preparation and dissemination of press releases and articles while coordinating media events.
  • Posted charges for rooms, food, liquor, or telephone calls, to ledgers manually or by using computers.
  • Research any outstanding vendor invoices and provide updates and/or explanations regarding the delay of payment.
  • Maintained knowledge of regulatory compliance and company policies.

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Top 10 Best States for Media Relations Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Virginia
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Ohio
  6. New Jersey
  7. Nevada
  8. North Carolina
  9. Minnesota
  10. New York
  • (241 jobs)
  • (43 jobs)
  • (636 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)
  • (680 jobs)
  • (450 jobs)
  • (104 jobs)
  • (562 jobs)
  • (442 jobs)
  • (864 jobs)

Top Media Relations Specialist Employers

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