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Become A Public Relations Associate

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Working As A Public Relations Associate

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

  • Stressful

  • $43,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Public Relations Associate 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 Relations Associate

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 Relations Associate Jobs

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Public Relations Associate Career Paths

Public Relations Associate
Account Manager Key Account Manager Retail Sales Manager
Advertising Director
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Consultant Sales Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager General Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Communications Director Writer And Editor
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Creative Director Senior Art Director
Creative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Marketing Director Development Director
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Coordinator Marketing Director Development Director
Director Of Advancement
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Marketing Specialist Event Manager
Director Of Marketing And Events
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Coordinator Public Relations Manager Manager Of Corporate Communications
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Program Manager Regional Director
Division Director
9 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Specialist Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Executive Director, Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Public Relations Consultant Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Assistant Event Manager Director Of Catering
Membership Director
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Specialist Public Relations Manager Marketing Manager
Product Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Account Executive Recruiter
Recruitment Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Writer And Editor Freelance Copywriter
Senior Copywriter
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Marketing Manager General Manager
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Public Relations Associate?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Public Relations 2.4 years
Top Careers Before Public Relations Associate
Internship 17.6%
Volunteer 4.2%
Reporter 3.6%
Editor 3.3%
Assistant 2.7%
Top Careers After Public Relations Associate
Internship 9.1%
Volunteer 4.8%
Associate 4.3%
Consultant 3.8%

Do you work as a Public Relations Associate?

Public Relations Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

69.3%

Male

27.9%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

59.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

9.8%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.7%

French

13.2%

Mandarin

5.1%

Italian

5.1%

Chinese

4.1%

German

4.1%

Japanese

2.5%

Arabic

2.5%

Hindi

2.0%

Greek

2.0%

Bengali

1.5%

Russian

1.5%

Cantonese

1.5%

Portuguese

1.5%

Dutch

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Danish

1.0%

Czech

1.0%

Polish

1.0%

Swedish

0.5%
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Public Relations Associate Education

Schools

New York University

11.1%

Temple University

7.9%

Syracuse University

7.1%

American University

6.7%

Pennsylvania State University

5.5%

Georgetown University

5.1%

Michigan State University

4.7%

Hofstra University

4.7%

Northeastern University

4.7%

University of Oregon

4.3%

University of South Carolina - Columbia

4.3%

Fordham University

4.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

George Mason University

4.0%

Johns Hopkins University

4.0%

Ohio University -

3.6%

Northwestern University

3.6%

Auburn University

3.6%

Texas State University

3.6%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.6%
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Majors

Communication

21.9%

Public Relations

19.3%

Business

8.7%

Journalism

8.7%

Marketing

7.5%

English

5.6%

Political Science

4.6%

Business Communications

3.9%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.7%

Management

2.6%

Psychology

2.2%

Agricultural Public Services

1.9%

International Relations

1.7%

Law

1.5%

Fine Arts

1.4%

Writing

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Advertising

1.1%

Kinesiology

1.0%

Education

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

61.5%

Masters

20.7%

Other

11.2%

Certificate

2.5%

Associate

2.3%

Doctorate

1.5%

Diploma

0.2%

License

0.1%
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Public Relations Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Communications/Public Relations Associate MIK Moore Consulting LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $80,000
Public Relations Associate Feature Communications LLC New York, NY May 18, 2015 $73,045
Communications/Public Relations Associate Bunge Management Services, Inc. White Plains, NY Apr 01, 2016 $71,000
Public Relations Associate (Merchandising Executive) Fashion Avenue Sweater Knits, LLC. New York, NY Jun 23, 2016 $65,000
PR Associate Kelly Wearstler Fashion LLLP Los Angeles, CA Feb 11, 2016 $60,000
PR Associate Vision 7 Communications Us New York, NY Sep 09, 2016 $55,000
Public Relations Associate Lambda Prime Corp. Boston, MA Sep 11, 2014 $55,000
Public Relations Associate Olson+Co., Inc. New York, NY Mar 12, 2015 $55,000
Social Media and Poblic Relations Associate Gates of Steel LLC New York, NY Oct 31, 2016 $52,175
Public Relations Associate Dada & Goldberg, Inc. New York, NY Jun 01, 2014 $50,000
Public Relations Associate Bank Information Center Washington, DC Jul 15, 2013 $50,000
Public Relations Associate Revolution Messaging LLC Washington, DC Dec 09, 2016 $50,000
Public Affairs Associate International Planned Parenthood Federation, WHR New York, NY Jan 23, 2013 $48,457
Public Affairs Associate International Planned Parenthood Federatio, WHR, I New York, NY Jan 23, 2013 $48,457
Public Affairs Associate International Planned Parenthood Federations, WHR New York, NY Jan 23, 2012 $47,507
Public Affairs Associate International Planned Parenthood Federation, WHR New York, NY Apr 08, 2011 $47,507
Public Affairs Associate International Planned Parenthood Federation, WHR New York, NY Jan 23, 2012 $47,507
Pr/Marketing Associate Nuistars, Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 16, 2015 $45,914
Public Relations & Marketing Associate Stateside Solutions LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2011 $45,000
Public Relations Associate BPCM NYC, Ltd. New York, NY Sep 15, 2014 $45,000
Account Management/Public Relations Associate Next Jump, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $45,000
Public Relations Associate Bradbury Lewis, Inc. New York, NY Jul 04, 2012 $45,000
Public Relations Associate Dada & Goldberg, Inc. New York, NY Sep 11, 2013 $42,000
Public Relations Associate Synesis It, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $42,000
Public Relations Associate Synesis It, Inc. NY Oct 01, 2010 $42,000
Public Relations Associate Precision Global Consulting, Inc. New York, NY Apr 13, 2010 $42,000
Publicity Associate Hemsing Associates, Inc. New York, NY Nov 01, 2010 $41,990
Public Relations Associate Arab-American Family Support Center New York, NY Mar 28, 2011 $41,990
PR & Client Associate WJM Productions Inc. New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $41,371

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Public Relations Associate

Average Yearly Salary
$43,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$27,000
Min 10%
$43,000
Median 50%
$43,000
Median 50%
$43,000
Median 50%
$43,000
Median 50%
$43,000
Median 50%
$43,000
Median 50%
$43,000
Median 50%
$67,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Capital One
Highest Paying City
Boston, MA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does a Public Relations Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Public Relations Associate in the United States is $43,313 per year or $21 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $27,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $67,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Public Relations Associate?

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Top Skills for A Public Relations Associate

  1. Press Releases
  2. Web Application
  3. Special Events
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Interviewed college professors and wrote press releases, news articles and technology transfer abstracts to increase communication for grant-funded intellectual property.
  • Prepared social media announcements and kept members informed of day-to-day information and special events connected with members
  • Developed and maintained Facebook social media pages.
  • Participated in promotional campaigns and national trade shows to market products and services
  • Directed all changes to 3 websites while increasing Twitter followers by 66% and Facebook by 45% in 6 months.

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Top 10 Best States for Public Relations Associates

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Alaska
  4. Washington
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Nevada
  7. New York
  8. Connecticut
  9. New Jersey
  10. Massachusetts
  • (175 jobs)
  • (217 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (148 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (34 jobs)
  • (475 jobs)
  • (53 jobs)
  • (126 jobs)
  • (216 jobs)

Top Public Relations Associate Employers

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