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Become A Press Secretary

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Working As A Press Secretary

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

  • Stressful

  • $84,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Press Secretary 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 Press Secretary

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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Press Secretary Jobs

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Press Secretary Career Paths

Press Secretary
Communications Manager Communications Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Communications Director
Director Of Public Affairs
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Project Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Public Relations Manager Manager Of Corporate Communications
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Campaign Manager Manager Property Manager
Assistant Director, Communications
5 Yearsyrs
Campaign Manager Principal Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Campaign Manager Board Member Public Relations Director
Public Relations And Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Public Information Officer Public Relations Manager Manager Of Corporate Communications
Internal Communications Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Consultant Marketing Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Consultant Social Media Manager Strategist
Senior Strategist
8 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Specialist
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Consultant Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Advisor Senior Training Specialist Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Consultant Promotion Manager
Manager Of Special Events
5 Yearsyrs
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Officer Public Information Officer
Public Affairs Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager Marketing Account Manager
Digital Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for A Press Secretary

  1. Press Releases
  2. Primary Spokesperson
  3. Policy Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Drafted and disseminated press releases and weekly newsletters for distribution to stakeholders.
  • Served as primary spokesperson for the Mayor and provided briefings to local and national media on a regular basis.
  • Researched and advised on sustainability, transportation, and urban agriculture policy issues.
  • Established member's social media accounts and added over 5,500 new Twitter followers.
  • Developed and implemented a strategic communications program for all aspects of the Congressman s policies and political agendas.

Press Secretary Demographics

Gender

Female

46.5%

Male

44.6%

Unknown

8.8%
Ethnicity

White

59.3%

Black or African American

16.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Asian

5.9%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.3%

French

22.5%

Portuguese

6.3%

German

6.3%

Greek

3.8%

Italian

3.8%

Russian

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Swedish

1.3%

Danish

1.3%

Czech

1.3%

Norwegian

1.3%

Croatian

1.3%
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Press Secretary Education

Schools

George Washington University

10.1%

American University

9.7%

Georgetown University

7.8%

Northwestern University

7.1%

Harvard University

6.5%

University of Texas at Austin

6.2%

Boston University

5.2%

New York University

4.9%

Columbia University

4.9%

Syracuse University

4.2%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.9%

Temple University

3.6%

George Mason University

3.6%

University of Florida

3.6%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.6%

University of Illinois at Springfield

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.2%

Pennsylvania State University

2.9%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2.9%

University of South Florida

2.6%
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Majors

Political Science

21.4%

Journalism

16.8%

Communication

16.1%

Public Relations

5.3%

English

5.2%

Business

4.7%

Law

4.5%

Public Administration

4.1%

International Relations

3.0%

History

2.7%

Marketing

2.5%

Public Policy Analysis

2.2%

Management

2.1%

Photography

1.9%

Agricultural Public Services

1.4%

Education

1.4%

Area Studies

1.4%

Business Communications

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.1%

Journalism And Mass Communications

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.7%

Masters

28.2%

Other

11.1%

Doctorate

5.1%

Certificate

2.4%

Associate

1.1%

Diploma

0.2%

License

0.2%
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