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Become A Public Affairs Assistant

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Working As A Public Affairs Assistant

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

  • Stressful

  • $59,682

    Average Salary

What Does A Public Affairs Assistant 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 Public Affairs Assistant

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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Public Affairs Assistant Jobs

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Public Affairs Assistant Career Paths

Public Affairs Assistant
Public Affairs Officer Communications Director Development Director
Community Development Director
8 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Executive Assistant/Office Manager Director Of Events
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Public Affairs Officer Director Of Public Affairs Communications Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Program Manager Deputy Director
Director Of Public Affairs
8 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Public Relations Manager Public Relations Director
Director Of Publications Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Communications Manager Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Property Manager Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Regulatory Affairs Specialist Project Coordinator Communications Specialist
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Public Affairs Specialist Public Relations Manager
Marketing & Public Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Business Manager Account Coordinator
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Affairs Specialist Communications Specialist Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Communications Coordinator Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Human Resources Assistant Program Coordinator Communications Coordinator
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Marketing Director Public Relations Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Regulatory Affairs Specialist Project Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Public Affairs Assistant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Employers Before
Internship 16.1%
Assistant 4.8%
Volunteer 3.9%
Secretary 3.9%
Teacher 2.9%
Cashier 2.6%
Top Employers After
Internship 7.9%
Volunteer 4.6%
Assistant 4.3%
Consultant 4.1%

Do you work as a Public Affairs Assistant?

Public Affairs Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

68.1%

Male

29.4%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

58.1%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

12.8%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.5%

French

13.3%

Italian

9.2%

German

5.0%

Portuguese

4.2%

Mandarin

3.3%

Russian

3.3%

Arabic

3.3%

Hindi

2.5%

Turkish

2.5%

Croatian

1.7%

Japanese

1.7%

Persian

1.7%

Swahili

0.8%

Swedish

0.8%

Estonian

0.8%

Telugu

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Luganda

0.8%

Dutch

0.8%
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Public Affairs Assistant Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.9%

American University

8.1%

University of Maryland - University College

5.9%

George Mason University

5.9%

Northeastern University

5.9%

Georgetown University

5.2%

Johns Hopkins University

5.2%

Syracuse University

4.4%

Defense Information School

4.4%

George Washington University

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.4%

University of Central Florida

4.4%

New York University

4.4%

Texas A&M University

4.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.4%

Troy University

3.7%

Temple University

3.7%

Ohio State University

3.7%

Boston University

3.7%
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Majors

Business

19.5%

Communication

15.1%

Political Science

8.3%

International Relations

6.6%

Public Relations

5.5%

Marketing

4.8%

English

3.9%

Public Administration

3.7%

Psychology

3.7%

Management

3.5%

Law

3.5%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Biology

2.9%

Journalism

2.6%

Human Resources Management

2.4%

Criminal Justice

2.2%

Writing

2.2%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Sociology

2.2%

Pharmacy

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.9%

Masters

27.9%

Other

14.2%

Associate

4.6%

Doctorate

4.2%

Certificate

3.3%

Diploma

0.8%
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Top Skills for A Public Affairs Assistant

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  1. Public Affairs
  2. Press Releases
  3. Regulatory Agencies
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Organized Public Affairs Department meetings including designing invitations, tracking participants, and coordinating event resources.
  • Prepared press releases for public dissemination, developed training materials for community organizations.
  • Maintain chronologies of correspondence with the FDA and international regulatory agencies in accordance with internal Standard Operating Procedure.
  • Oversee and coordinate development and implementation of policy and procedures that incorporate sustainability principles to attain NCCU Student Affairs sustainability goals.
  • Developed PowerPoint presentations; organized and reconciled shared drive templates, database, and files; coordinated records management binders.

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