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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

  • $53,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Public Relations 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

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 Jobs

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Public Relations Career Paths

Public Relations
Account Executive Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Account Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Senior Account Executive Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Executive Assistant Event Manager
Events Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Senior Account Executive Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Owner Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Executive Assistant Property Manager Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Product Manager Brand Manager
Brand Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Consultant Office Manager Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Consultant Principal Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Editor Office Manager Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Public Relations Manager Public Relations Director
Public Relations And Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Coordinator Communications Specialist Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Social Media Manager Strategist
Senior Strategist
8 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Coordinator Marketing Consultant Senior Product Manager
Marketing Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Coordinator Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Consultant Communications Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Public Information Officer
Public Affairs Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Public Relations?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Public Relations 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Public Relations
Internship 14.7%
Cashier 5.7%
Volunteer 5.6%
Manager 4.2%
Server 3.9%
Assistant 3.8%
Editor 2.8%
Reporter 2.8%
Top Careers After Public Relations
Internship 12.0%
Cashier 5.1%
Volunteer 5.0%
Server 4.5%
Manager 4.4%
President 4.3%
Owner 4.1%
Consultant 3.4%

Do you work as a Public Relations?

Public Relations Demographics

Gender

Female

57.3%

Male

32.1%

Unknown

10.7%
Ethnicity

White

58.8%

Hispanic or Latino

17.5%

Black or African American

11.0%

Asian

8.8%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.1%

French

12.8%

Chinese

6.3%

Italian

5.7%

Mandarin

5.5%

Portuguese

3.4%

German

3.1%

Japanese

3.0%

Korean

2.3%

Cantonese

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Russian

1.7%

Hebrew

1.5%

Hindi

1.0%

Greek

0.8%

Turkish

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Swedish

0.4%

Thai

0.4%
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Public Relations Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.0%

Marist College

7.9%

New York University

5.9%

Pennsylvania State University

5.9%

University of California - Los Angeles

5.6%

Florida State University

5.4%

Arizona State University

5.3%

Iona College

5.1%

American University

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.7%

University of Texas at Austin

4.7%

Florida International University

4.6%

University of Florida

4.5%

Syracuse University

4.1%

University of Georgia

4.0%

West Virginia University

4.0%

Northeastern University

4.0%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.9%

University of Alabama

3.9%

Texas State University

3.9%
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Majors

Communication

23.0%

Business

14.7%

Public Relations

12.7%

Marketing

8.4%

Journalism

6.1%

English

4.7%

Management

4.2%

Psychology

3.4%

Graphic Design

2.9%

Political Science

2.8%

Education

2.2%

Business Communications

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%

Fine Arts

1.7%

Finance

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Criminal Justice

1.6%

Journalism And Mass Communications

1.5%

Agricultural Public Services

1.5%

Kinesiology

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

56.5%

Other

17.7%

Masters

15.5%

Associate

5.2%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$53,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$34,000
Min 10%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
NFL
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does a Public Relations make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Public Relations in the United States is $53,279 per year or $26 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $34,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $82,000.

Real Public Relations Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
International Public Relations Venetian Casino Resort, LLC Las Vegas, NV Sep 29, 2009 $139,880
Public Relations Aleatoric Media Group Inc. Magnolia, TX May 14, 2016 $120,000
Public Relations Ameriplus, Inc. Clearwater, FL Sep 17, 2012 $115,960
Public Relations Ameriplus, Inc. Clearwater, FL Sep 12, 2012 $115,960
Public Relations/Communications/Media-Latin America Medtronic, Inc. Miami, FL Dec 15, 2016 $95,000
Marketing and PR Perpetual Artist Co. Miami, FL Oct 01, 2011 $92,558
Marketing & Public Relations Co-Ordinator Medical Imaging Center of Southern California Santa Monica, CA Apr 13, 2015 $92,061
Public Relations Lourenco DDS, Inc. Westminster, CA Sep 15, 2015 $73,045
Public Relations & Communications Spec (Community Advocate) Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 06, 2016 $64,646 -
$72,000
Global Public Relations and Communications Special Versation Inc. Portland, OR Jul 05, 2010 $63,000
Treskoi Public Relations Treskoi Public Relations Miami, FL Sep 15, 2012 $62,000
International Business Affairs and Public Relation Stephens Institute San Francisco, CA Sep 25, 2012 $60,000
Public Relations and Marketing One Beat LLC New York, NY Sep 30, 2012 $60,000
Event/Public Relations Co-Ordinator Braga Productions CA Feb 01, 2010 $59,292
Internal Communication & Public Relations Speciali L. A. Care Health Plan Los Angeles, CA Jun 01, 2011 $54,000
Public Relations WPS, Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 20, 2011 $52,603
Public Relations Sepcialist Elila, LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $52,175
Public Relations Special Goldstein & Associates, LLC Pittsburgh, PA Apr 07, 2009 $51,834
Corporate Communication and Public Relations Manag Secure Ip Telecom, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Mar 01, 2013 $50,960
Public Relations Sepcialist Cooler Master USA, Inc. Fremont, CA Dec 03, 2009 $48,000
Public Relations WPS, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Feb 28, 2012 $48,000
Pr/User Acquisition Saybubble, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 16, 2015 $47,341
Corporate/Public Relations & Communications Coordi 121 W. 45 St. Restaurant Corp. New York, NY Oct 31, 2010 $42,000
International Marketing & Public Relations Special Sisley Americas Services, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 18, 2014 $42,000
Public Relations Specialst Two Twelve Management and Marketing New York, NY Jun 15, 2011 $41,850
In House Public Relations The Monocle Order New York, NY Jul 10, 2013 $41,371
International Public Relations & Marketing Special Goldstein Communications, Ltd. New York, NY Sep 19, 2013 $41,371
Public Relations Grinnell Designs Ltd. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $41,156
Public Relations Grinnell Designs Ltd. New York, NY Sep 24, 2010 $41,156 -
$20
Public Relations Specialis Sterling Communications, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Sep 01, 2014 $41,000 -
$60,000

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Top Skills for A Public Relations

  1. Press Releases
  2. Web Application
  3. Special Events
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Inquired, composed and distributed press releases, speeches, press kits, letters, talking points, and others.
  • Determined client needs for company websites through meetings and created corporate web sites, portals and large-scale web applications.
  • Developed relationships with local media members and worked with community organizations to plan special events and create media opportunities.
  • Helped to created promotional materials and continually updated information on the company's Facebook page.
  • Created and implemented marketing strategies, customer service satisfaction surveys, scheduling and coordinated meetings with potential customers.

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Top 10 Best States for Public Relations

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Alaska
  4. Nevada
  5. Washington
  6. Rhode Island
  7. New York
  8. New Jersey
  9. Oregon
  10. Massachusetts
  • (57 jobs)
  • (63 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (69 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (214 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)

Top Public Relations Employers

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Jobs From Top Public Relations Employers

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Advice from a Communication Arts (Public Relations) (BA) student from drkit.org

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