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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

  • $70,458

    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
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager
Brand Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Social Media Specialist Marketing Communications Specialist Senior Copywriter
Brand Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager Director Of Communications And Marketing Communications Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations Communications Specialist Public Relations Manager
Director Of Publications Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations Director Of Communications And Marketing Communications Director
Director Strategic Communications
11 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Director Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Special Events Coordinator Sales Coordinator Account Coordinator
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Public Relations Manager Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Public Information Officer Communications Coordinator Media Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Development Director Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Development Director Producer News Director
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing And Communication Consultant Marketing Communications Manager Strategist
Senior Strategist
8 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Director Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Communications Director Director, Corporate Communications
Vice President, Corporate Communications
10 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
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.3%
Editor 4.0%
Reporter 3.5%
Director 2.9%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.9%
Internship 5.1%
Director 4.1%
Owner 3.9%
Editor 3.4%

Do you work as a Public Relations Consultant?

Public Relations Consultant Demographics

Gender

Female

65.2%

Male

31.9%

Unknown

2.9%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

3.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.0%

French

18.5%

Portuguese

4.5%

German

4.5%

Mandarin

4.2%

Italian

4.2%

Russian

3.5%

Chinese

3.5%

Hebrew

1.4%

Armenian

1.0%

Tagalog

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Arabic

1.0%

Turkish

0.7%

Romanian

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%

Hindi

0.7%

Georgian

0.7%

Cantonese

0.7%

Telugu

0.3%
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Public Relations Consultant Education

Schools

New York University

7.7%

Syracuse University

6.8%

Northwestern University

6.8%

University of Phoenix

6.6%

Temple University

5.7%

Georgetown University

5.7%

University of Southern California

5.7%

Boston University

5.7%

Fashion Institute of Technology

5.4%

George Washington University

5.1%

American University

4.6%

University of Florida

4.3%

Wayne State University

4.0%

Bowling Green State University

3.7%

Ohio State University

3.7%

Hofstra University

3.7%

University of Oregon

3.7%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.7%

State University of New York at Fredonia

3.7%
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Majors

Communication

20.5%

Public Relations

14.9%

Journalism

11.5%

Business

9.9%

Marketing

8.1%

English

6.0%

Political Science

4.2%

Management

3.4%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.9%

Business Communications

2.5%

Writing

2.2%

History

1.9%

Law

1.9%

Fine Arts

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Psychology

1.6%

Agricultural Public Services

1.5%

International Relations

1.2%

Finance

1.2%

Advertising

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

55.7%

Masters

25.4%

Other

11.4%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

2.6%

Associate

1.6%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Temporary

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 Glam Communications Inc. New York, NY Nov 01, 2010 $42,000
Public Relations Consultant Anatolia Construction, Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 19, 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

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  1. Press Releases
  2. Web
  3. Strategic Communications
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Authored press releases for ongoing organizational activities.
  • Assisted in evaluations and recommendations of current website infrastructure and operational procedures.
  • 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
  • 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

Public Relations Consultant Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Corporate Communications Manager by Nicole C (Full Version)

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Kiley Norvell, Public Relations Consultant, on Central Valley Business

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