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Become A Public Relations Consultant

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Working As A Public Relations Consultant

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

  • Stressful

  • $51,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Public Relations Consultant 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 Consultant

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 Consultant Jobs

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Public Relations Consultant Career Paths

Public Relations Consultant
Public Relations Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Public Relations Director Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Manager Marketing Manager
Brand Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Account Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Owner Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Account Executive Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Account Supervisor Marketing Communications Manager Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Account Supervisor Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Account Supervisor Principal Public Relations Director
Public Relations And Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Consultant Product Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Social Media Manager Strategist
Senior Strategist
8 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Program Manager Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Owner Owner And Founder Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Senior Editor Social Media Manager
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing And Communication Consultant Marketing Consultant Communications Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing And Communication Consultant Marketing Consultant Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing And Communication Consultant Marketing Consultant Digital Marketing Consultant
Digital Marketing Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Campaign Manager Strategist Social Media Strategist
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Public Information Officer
Public Affairs Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Public Relations Consultant?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Public Relations 2.4 years
Brand Consultant 1.8 years
Top Careers Before Public Relations Consultant
Internship 7.5%
Reporter 4.1%
Editor 3.8%
Top Careers After Public Relations Consultant
Consultant 5.8%
Internship 5.6%
Director 4.1%
Owner 4.1%

Do you work as a Public Relations Consultant?

Public Relations Consultant Demographics

Gender

Female

59.6%

Male

29.6%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

60.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Black or African American

12.3%

Asian

7.7%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.9%

French

19.5%

Italian

5.5%

German

4.7%

Portuguese

4.2%

Mandarin

3.9%

Russian

3.9%

Chinese

3.4%

Japanese

1.6%

Hebrew

1.6%

Arabic

1.0%

Romanian

0.8%

Hindi

0.8%

Armenian

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Gujarati

0.5%

Korean

0.5%

Ukrainian

0.5%

Georgian

0.5%
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Public Relations Consultant Education

Schools

New York University

10.3%

University of Southern California

6.2%

George Washington University

5.8%

Boston University

5.8%

University of Phoenix

5.8%

Temple University

5.7%

Georgetown University

5.0%

American University

5.0%

Syracuse University

4.8%

Northwestern University

4.8%

State University of New York at Fredonia

4.8%

Ohio State University

4.6%

University of Texas at Austin

4.5%

San Diego State University

4.1%

San Jose State University

4.0%

Fashion Institute of Technology

4.0%

Bowling Green State University

3.8%

Florida State University

3.8%

Wayne State University

3.6%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.6%
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Majors

Communication

21.1%

Public Relations

15.1%

Journalism

11.0%

Business

9.9%

Marketing

7.7%

English

6.0%

Political Science

4.5%

Management

3.5%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.5%

Business Communications

2.4%

Writing

2.1%

Fine Arts

2.0%

History

1.8%

Psychology

1.7%

Law

1.7%

Agricultural Public Services

1.5%

Liberal Arts

1.5%

International Relations

1.4%

Education

1.3%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

57.1%

Masters

24.5%

Other

11.0%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

2.3%

Associate

1.9%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$51,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$33,000
Min 10%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Sentara Healthcare
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Public Relations Consultant make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Public Relations Consultant in the United States is $51,902 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $33,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $80,000.

Real Public Relations Consultant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Public Relations Research Consultant Prime Research, LP Ann Arbor, MI Jan 27, 2015 $69,200
Public Relations Consultant DKMS Americas New York, NY Apr 12, 2012 $66,990
Public Relations Consultant Clinical Research Academy of America Edison, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $52,175
Public Relations Consultant Partners In Psychiatry, LLC Summit, NJ Apr 28, 2009 $47,528
Public Relations Consultant GLAM Communications Inc. New York, NY Nov 01, 2013 $43,000
Public Relations Consultant Anatolia Construction, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 19, 2010 $42,000
Public Relations Consultant GLAM Communications Inc. New York, NY Nov 01, 2010 $42,000
PR Consultant Meagher Group LLC New York, NY Jun 16, 2016 $41,740
PR Consultant Meagher Group LLC New York, NY Jun 16, 2014 $41,740
PR Consultant Beacon Advisors LLC New York, NY Aug 31, 2013 $41,740

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Top Skills for A Public Relations Consultant

  1. Press Releases
  2. Web Application
  3. Strategic Communications
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Write and position product and service-specific press releases targeting legal and financial media.
  • Partner closely with each company's executive management team to lead and execute strategic communications, public relations and marketing programs.
  • Develop public relations and branding strategy for clients * Coordinate community outreach and networking opportunities * Design special events and conferences
  • Produced media kits, conducted public relations and led community outreach within Asian-Pacific Islander, African American and Hispanic/Latino communities.
  • Constructed a Facebook, Twitter, and personal web page as well as over 100 posts to engage with potential clients.

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Top 10 Best States for Public Relations Consultants

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. New Jersey
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Washington
  6. Connecticut
  7. New York
  8. Nevada
  9. California
  10. Alaska
  • (189 jobs)
  • (367 jobs)
  • (269 jobs)
  • (51 jobs)
  • (251 jobs)
  • (102 jobs)
  • (662 jobs)
  • (49 jobs)
  • (1,407 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)

Top Public Relations Consultant Employers

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Jobs From Top Public Relations Consultant Employers

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