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Public relations managers are responsible for developing and implementing an organization's public relations and media strategy, building its reputation, and ensuring effective media coverage. As a public relations manager, you will draft or oversee the creation of media releases and content on social media, forge relationships with journalists and key influencers, and manage the response to crises. Public relations managers work in every sector, from finance to fashion, education, and charities. Your key role is to liaise with clients to establish their needs and maintain a relationship and to communicate with the social media team and marketing department to plan content.

To be a public relations manager, you need a bachelor's degree in media, marketing, or a related field and excellent verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to strategize and plan campaigns. Excellent knowledge of social media platforms is also important for this role. You will earn an average salary of $78,391 per year.

What Does a Public Relations Manager 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.

Learn more about what a Public Relations Manager does

How To Become a Public Relations Manager

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.

Public Relations Manager Career Paths

Average Salary for a Public Relations Manager

Public Relations Managers in America make an average salary of $100,440 per year or $48 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $153,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $65,000 per year.
Average Public Relations Manager Salary
$100,440 Yearly
$48.29 hourly
$65,000
10 %
$100,000
Median
$153,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Public Relations Manager Education

Public Relations Manager Majors

Public Relations Manager Degrees

Bachelors

78.5 %

Masters

10.9 %

Associate

6.0 %

Top Colleges for Public Relations Managers

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

4. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

5. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

7. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Champaign, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,094
Enrollment
32,974

8. Howard University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$26,756
Enrollment
6,166

9. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

10. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

Top Skills For a Public Relations Manager

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 28.5% of public relations managers listed press releases on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and leadership skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Public Relations Manager Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Public Relations Manager templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Public Relations Manager resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Public Relations Manager Demographics

Public Relations Manager Gender Distribution

Female
Female
66%
Male
Male
35%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among public relations managers, 65.5% of them are women, while 34.5% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among public relations managers is White, which makes up 79.0% of all public relations managers.

  • The most common foreign language among public relations managers is Spanish at 40.5%.

Online Courses For Public Relations Manager That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Public Relations: Media Crisis Communications
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Public Relations: You can shape and control your media messages at the worst possible times...

Press Coverage, Publicity & Public Relations For Branding
udemy
4.8
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Public relations to reach 100,000+ potential clients with strategies to get publicity & press coverage for branding ASAP...

The Ultimate Public Relations Masterclass
udemy
4.5
(1,662)

Everything you need to know to be successful at PR in a digital world...

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Best States For a Public Relations Manager

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a public relations manager. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Nevada, Delaware, and Montana. Public relations managers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $141,935. Whereas in Nevada and Delaware, they would average $124,150 and $124,142, respectively. While public relations managers would only make an average of $122,528 in Montana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Public Relations Manager Jobs:
438
Highest 10% Earn:
$202,000
Location Quotient:
1.28 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Delaware

Total Public Relations Manager Jobs:
73
Highest 10% Earn:
$184,000
Location Quotient:
1.24 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Nevada

Total Public Relations Manager Jobs:
95
Highest 10% Earn:
$183,000
Location Quotient:
0.97 Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Public Relations Managers

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Top Public Relations Manager Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ public relations managers and discovered their number of public relations manager opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Splunk was the best, especially with an average salary of $116,555. AT&T; follows up with an average salary of $107,447, and then comes Microsoft with an average of $178,307. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a public relations manager. The employers include HUB International, Dell, and Twilio

Most Common Employers For Public Relations Manager

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Microsoft$178,307$85.7232
2Sony Electronics$146,233$70.309
3Apple$143,405$68.947
4Intel$139,860$67.249
5Cisco$136,526$65.648
6Bloomingdale's$121,431$58.388
7Neiman Marcus Group$120,126$57.7520
8IBM$118,490$56.979
9Splunk$116,555$56.0450
10Motorola Solutions$114,999$55.299

Becoming a Public Relations Manager FAQs

How long does it take to be a public relations manager?

It takes 9 to 11 years to become a public relations manager. This includes the time it takes to earn a bachelor's degree, as well as at least five years of work experience.

Most public relations managers have bachelor's degrees in journalism, fundraising, English, communications, public relations, or related fields.

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