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Become A Public Relations Specialist

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Working As A Public Relations Specialist

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

  • Stressful

  • $49,005

    Average Salary

What Does A Public Relations Specialist 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 Specialist

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 Specialist jobs

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Public Relations Specialist Career Paths

Public Relations Specialist
Public Relations Manager Communications Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Communications Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Coordinator Marketing Director
Director Of Digital Marketing
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Event Manager
Director Of Marketing And Events
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Property Manager Communications Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Coordinator Account Executive Public Relations
Director Of Publications Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Sales Consultant Marketing Consultant
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Account Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Marketing Specialist
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Sales Consultant Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Media Coordinator Media Relations Manager
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Marketing Director Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Marketing Manager
Senior Manager Of Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Media Specialist 2.9 years
Public Relations 2.6 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 10.6%
Reporter 5.9%
Editor 4.5%
Top Employers After
Internship 3.6%
Owner 3.3%

Public Relations Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

69.5%

Male

27.9%

Unknown

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

79.8%

Hispanic or Latino

9.3%

Asian

8.4%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.8%

French

14.2%

Mandarin

6.9%

Japanese

6.5%

Chinese

6.2%

Russian

3.8%

German

3.8%

Italian

3.5%

Korean

2.3%

Polish

1.9%

Swedish

1.5%

Hebrew

1.5%

Cantonese

1.5%

Danish

1.2%

Portuguese

1.2%

Khmer

0.8%

Dakota

0.8%

Arabic

0.8%

Sami

0.4%

Vietnamese

0.4%
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Public Relations Specialist Education

Schools

University of Florida

7.2%

Florida State University

6.6%

Syracuse University

5.8%

Brigham Young University

5.8%

Michigan State University

5.8%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.5%

West Virginia University

5.5%

Northwestern University

5.2%

University of Phoenix

5.2%

Texas State University

4.9%

Boston University

4.6%

University of Alabama

4.3%

Georgetown University

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

American University

4.3%

Ball State University

4.3%

Ohio University -

4.0%

New York University

4.0%

Arizona State University

4.0%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.0%
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Majors

Communication

24.4%

Public Relations

16.7%

Journalism

11.6%

Business

10.6%

Marketing

5.7%

English

4.9%

Management

3.2%

Agricultural Public Services

3.0%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.8%

Business Communications

2.8%

Psychology

2.4%

Political Science

2.2%

Writing

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.3%

Finance

1.3%

Sociology

1.3%

Education

1.1%

Public Administration

1.1%

Advertising

1.1%

History

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.5%

Masters

24.2%

Other

10.5%

Certificate

3.0%

Associate

2.4%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Public Relations Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Public Relations Specialist Kotobuki-Ya Inc. Dba Cps Torrance, CA Feb 02, 2016 $206,731
Public Relations Specialist Milkyway Education Center, Inc. Wayne, NJ May 07, 2015 $150,405
Public Relations Specialist-Fashion Purple USA Inc. New York, NY Nov 30, 2016 $128,000
Public Relations Specialist The King Collective New York, NY Mar 07, 2015 $120,000
Public Relations Specialist Dan Klores Communications LLC New York, NY Apr 04, 2016 $120,000
Public Relations & Communications Specialist Brzozka Industries, Inc. Holbrook, NY Aug 27, 2015 $112,216
Senior Public Relations Specialist Kronos Incorporated Chelmsford, MA Apr 30, 2016 $112,183
Public Relations Specialist Paypal, Inc. San Francisco, CA Dec 10, 2015 $108,000
Public Relations Specialist Paypal, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 11, 2015 $108,000
Public Relations Specialist, Digital Communications Electronic Arts, Inc. Redwood City, CA Nov 21, 2016 $107,000
Public Relations Specialist Clarins USA Inc. New York, NY Nov 18, 2016 $101,656
Public Relations Specialist The Beautiful Foundation USA Fort Lee, NJ Oct 13, 2016 $99,154
Public Relations Specialist Finn Partners, Inc. New York, NY Jan 07, 2016 $98,000
Public Relations Specialist The Barbarian Group LLC New York, NY Sep 04, 2015 $95,000
Public Relations Specialist March Communications, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2015 $54,500
Public Relations Specialist Direct Computer Resources Inc. Farmington, CT Sep 20, 2015 $54,262
Public Relations Specialist Resourcefull Co. Incorporated New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $54,262
Public Relations Specialist Marcus Evans, Inc. Chicago, IL Sep 15, 2016 $54,000
PR Specialist China XD Plastic Company Limited New York, NY Sep 02, 2015 $53,520
Public Relations Specialist University of California at Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA Mar 14, 2016 $53,500
Public Relations Specialist Tiancheng International Group Inc. Burlington, MA Sep 14, 2016 $53,200
Public Relations Specialists ATP Tour, Inc. FL Jan 23, 2015 $53,045
PR Specialist Atlantic Led Inc. Ridgefield, NJ Sep 22, 2015 $41,740
Public Relations Specialists Law Offices of Kelly H. Bu Pleasanton, CA Sep 14, 2016 $41,740
Communication & Public Relations Specialist Precious Metal Fabrication Long Beach, CA Aug 15, 2016 $41,740
Public Relations Specialist The Timing, Inc. Vernon, CA Sep 13, 2016 $41,740
Public Relations/Marketing Specialist Two World Arts Group LLC New York, NY Dec 09, 2016 $41,740
Public Relations Specialist Main Valley Inc. Alhambra, CA Oct 09, 2016 $41,740
Public Relations Specialist Barrenjoey Creative LLC New York, NY Jan 08, 2015 $41,740
Public Relations Specialist Americhina, LLC New York, NY Sep 15, 2016 $41,740

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Top Skills for A Public Relations Specialist

PressReleasesWebContentFacebookTwitterSpecialEventsNewsReleasesPromotionalMaterialsAnnualReportsEventPlanningCommunityRelationsTradeShowsCustomerServicePressConferencesPublicRelationsStrategiesCommunityEventsCommunicationPlansPublicRelationsCampaignsWebSiteCommunityOutreachYoutube

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Top Public Relations Specialist Skills

  1. Press Releases
  2. Web Content
  3. Facebook
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed & wrote press releases, physician bios, monthly employee newsletter and website content for the practice.
  • Maintained web content using content management system.
  • Created and maintained social media page by updating Facebook and Twitter every hour.
  • Increased Facebook audience by 21,000 percent and Twitter by 426 percent over a 3-month period.
  • Provided strategic press releases to maximize sales for special events resulting in sold out venues.

Top Public Relations Specialist Employers

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