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Become A Public Relations

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Working As A Public Relations

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

  • Stressful

  • $42,370

    Average Salary

What Does A Public Relations Do

Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.

Duties

Public relations managers typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Identify main client groups and audiences and determine the best way to reach them
  • Designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source for media inquiries
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Develop their organization's or client’s corporate image and identity
  • Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
  • Devise advertising and promotion programs
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Fundraising managers typically do the following:

  • Manage progress towards achieving an organization’s fundraising goals
  • Develop and carry out fundraising strategies
  • Identify and contact potential donors
  • Create and plan different events that can generate donations
  • Meet face-to-face with highly important donors
  • Apply for grants
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Public relations managers review press releases and sponsor corporate events to help maintain and improve the image of their organization or client.

Public relations managers help to clarify their organization’s point of view to its main audience through media releases and interviews. They observe social, economic, and political trends that might ultimately affect their organization, and they recommend ways to enhance the firm's image based on those trends. For example, in response to a growing concern about the environment, the public relations manager for an oil company may create a campaign to publicize its efforts to develop cleaner fuels.

In large organizations, public relations managers often supervise a staff of public relations specialists. They also work with advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to ensure that advertising campaigns are compatible with the image the company or client is trying to portray. For example, if a firm decides to emphasize its appeal to a certain group, such as young people, the public relations manager needs to make sure that current advertisements are well received by that group.

In addition, public relations managers may handle internal communications, such as company newsletters, and may help financial managers produce an organization’s reports. They may also draft speeches, arrange interviews, and maintain other forms of public contact to help the organization’s top executives.

Public relations managers must be able to work well with many types of specialists to report the facts accurately. In some cases, the information they write has legal consequences. As a result, they must work with the company's or client's lawyers to be sure that the information they release is both legally accurate and clear to the public.

Fundraising managers oversee campaigns and events intended to bring in donations for their organization. Many organizations that employ fundraisers rely heavily on the donations they gather in order to run their operations.

Fundraising managers usually decide which fundraising techniques are necessary in a certain situation. Common techniques may include annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, or major gifts. In addition, social media has created a new avenue for fundraising managers to connect with more potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.

Those who work on annual campaigns focus heavily on contacting donors who have given in the past, and request that they give again. Finding new contacts for future donations is also a component of a successful annual campaign.

Capital campaigns are different; they are generally used to raise money over a shorter time period and for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university.

Fundraisers who spend most of their time on planned giving must have specialized training in taxes regarding gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will. Major gifts are a feature of many different campaigns and are generally requested in person given the large value of the potential donation.

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How To Become A Public Relations

Public relations and fundraising managers need at least a bachelor’s degree, and some positions may require a master’s degree. Many years of related work experience are also necessary.

Education

For public relations and fundraising management positions, a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, English, fundraising, or journalism is generally required. However, some employers prefer a master’s degree, particularly in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management.

Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, and creative and technical writing can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, public relations managers can get certified through the Public Relations Society of America. Candidates qualify based on years of experience and must pass an exam to become certified.

The International Association of Business Communicators offers a credential to demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise.

The Certified Fund Raising Executive program, offered by CFRE International, is voluntary, but fundraisers who pursue certification demonstrate a level of professional competency to prospective employers. Candidates are required to have 5 years of work experience in fundraising and have 80 hours of continuing education through conference attendance and classroom instruction to qualify. Fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years to keep their certification valid.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Public relations and fundraising managers must have several years of experience in a related or entry-level position, such as a public relations specialist or fundraiser.

Lower level management positions may require only a few years of experience, whereas directors are more likely to need 5 to 10 years of related work experience.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Managers deal with the public regularly; therefore, they must be friendly enough to build rapport and receive cooperation from their media contacts and donors.

Leadership skills. Public relations and fundraising managers often lead large teams of specialists or fundraisers and must be able to guide their activities.

Organizational skills. Public relations and fundraising managers are often in charge of running several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Managers sometimes must explain how the 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 and fundraising managers regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to explain the organization’s position clearly.

Writing skills. Managers 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 succinctly in order to keep the attention of busy readers or listeners.

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7,361 Public Relations jobs

Gift of Life Donor Program
Philadelphia, PA
Community / Public Relations Interns (Fall Semester)

$36,857 Estimated

Gift of Life Donor Program
Philadelphia, PA
Community / Public Relations Interns (Fall Semester)

$36,857 Estimated

Principal Financial Group
Des Moines, IA
Public Relations Strategist - Enterprise

$42,370 Estimated

GMG
Baltimore, MD
Public Relations / Management

$42,370 Estimated

Arcanum Consulting
Minnetonka, MN
PUBLIC RELATIONS & MARKETING - Entry Level

$39,172 Estimated

Global Channel Management, Inc.
Culver City, CA
Public Relations

$40,000 Estimated

Global Channel Management, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA
Public Relations

$39,200 Estimated

Keiser University
Fort Lauderdale, FL
MEDIA / PUBLIC RELATIONS SUMMER INTERN

$56,770 Estimated

Humana
San Diego, CA
Public Relations Professional

$42,500 Estimated

Robert Half
Colorado Springs, CO
Public Relations

$36,608 Estimated

Waggener Edstrom
San Francisco, CA
Account Manager, Public Relations

$42,500 Estimated

American Cancer Society
Atlanta, GA
Director, Public Relations

$37,687 Estimated

The Hartford
Hartford, CT
Senior Specialist, Public Relations

$46,575 Estimated

Thermo Fisher Scientific
Fremont, CA
Sr. Public Relations Lead

$48,504 Estimated

Danaher Corporation
Brea, CA
Public Relations Lead

$47,823 Estimated

Hill+Knowlton Strategies
New York, NY
Public Relations Fellow, Healthcare

$44,000 Estimated

Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Los Angeles, CA
Public Relations Fellow

$39,200 Estimated

Internet Brands
Los Angeles, CA
Public Relations Intern (Paid)

$65,180 Estimated

Immediate Hire: Event Management Firm
Nashville, TN
Entry Level- Marketing. Advertising. Public Relations

$42,370 Estimated

Gallagher
Rolling Meadows, IL
Director, Media Relations / Public Relations

$41,189 Estimated

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Real Public Relations Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director Public Relations Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Mar 30, 2015 $203,370
Executive Director, Public Relations Projects (Marketing Admin.) University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA Apr 21, 2016 $200,000
Director of Public Relations and Communications Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA Feb 06, 2016 $200,000
Director of Public Relations and Communications Faraday & Future Inc. Gardena, CA Jul 06, 2015 $200,000 -
$250,000
Director Public Relations Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Sep 06, 2014 $199,570
Senior Director, Global Public Relations Deckers Outdoor Corporation Goleta, CA Oct 10, 2014 $175,000 -
$250,000
Senior Director, Global Public Relations Deckers Outdoor Corporation Goleta, CA Oct 27, 2016 $175,000 -
$250,000
Senior Director, Public Relations Deckers Outdoor Corporation Goleta, CA Oct 27, 2016 $175,000 -
$250,000
Senior Director, Global Public Relations Deckers Outdoor Corporation Goleta, CA Oct 10, 2016 $175,000 -
$250,000
Head of Public Relations & Communications Bentley Motors, Inc. Herndon, VA Sep 17, 2013 $171,600 -
$200,000
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Top Skills for A Public Relations

PressReleasesWebContentFacebookTwitterSpecialEventsPublicSpeakingCrisisCommunicationsFinancialCustomerServiceNewsReleasesEventPlanningPromotionalMaterialsPressConferencesCommunityRelationsInternalCommunicationsStrategicCommunicationsInstagramArtTradeShowsAnnualReport

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Top Public Relations Skills

  1. Press Releases
  2. Web Content
  3. Facebook
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed public relations and media outreach, including writing and pitching press releases to secure significant national and international media coverage.
  • Directed web content development and writing to establish sustained online presence in Google News rankings.
  • Coordinate with managers to tweet daily specials and promotions, as well as maintain the Facebook page.
  • Engage with financial services reporters on Twitter with the goal of strengthening relationships and pitching spokespeople.
  • Managed community outreach for annual press releases, feature stories, special events and programs.

Top Public Relations Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Public Relations

  1. Prssa
  2. America (Prssa)
  3. Various
  4. Social Media
  5. WVU
  6. Delta Gamma Fraternity
  7. Alpha Xi Delta
  8. Student Government Association
  9. Kappa Sigma Fraternity
  10. University of Alabama
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