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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

  • $44,000

    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
Communications Consultant Retail Sales Consultant Retail Sales Manager
Advertising Director
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Marketing Manager General Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Marketing Director General Manager
Business Owner
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Sales Consultant Admissions Representative
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Project Manager President
Chairperson, Board Of Directors
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Operations Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Media Coordinator Producer Managing Editor
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Writer Creative Director Senior Art Director
Creative Services Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Development Director
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Project Coordinator Development Coordinator Assistant Director Of Development
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Marketing Director Director Of Strategy
Director Of Strategy & Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Communications Director Marketing Director
Executive Director, Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Consultant Public Relations Manager Account Manager
Key Account Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Marketing Manager
Product Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Freelance Copywriter
Senior Copywriter
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Communications Director Marketing Director
Senior Director Of Marketing
12 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager General Manager Account Executive
Territory Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Public Relations Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Public Relations Specialist
Internship 12.0%
Reporter 5.6%
Editor 4.7%
Manager 2.9%
Top Careers After Public Relations Specialist
Internship 4.2%

Do you work as a Public Relations Specialist?

Public Relations Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

69.6%

Male

27.4%

Unknown

3.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.2%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

9.3%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.2%

French

13.7%

Mandarin

6.9%

Japanese

5.9%

Chinese

5.6%

Italian

4.7%

German

4.0%

Russian

3.1%

Korean

2.8%

Portuguese

1.9%

Polish

1.9%

Swedish

1.6%

Cantonese

1.6%

Hebrew

1.6%

Arabic

1.2%

Danish

0.9%

Swahili

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Khmer

0.6%

Dakota

0.6%
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Public Relations Specialist Education

Schools

University of Florida

7.2%

Michigan State University

6.8%

Syracuse University

6.3%

Brigham Young University

6.0%

West Virginia University

5.8%

Northwestern University

5.6%

Florida State University

5.6%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.3%

University of Phoenix

5.1%

Texas State University

4.8%

Georgetown University

4.6%

University of Alabama

4.3%

Temple University

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

Boston University

4.3%

New York University

4.1%

University of Texas at Austin

3.9%

University of Georgia

3.9%

American University

3.9%

Ball State University

3.9%
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Majors

Communication

24.6%

Public Relations

16.8%

Journalism

11.0%

Business

10.6%

Marketing

6.5%

English

5.2%

Management

3.2%

Agricultural Public Services

2.9%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.7%

Business Communications

2.6%

Psychology

2.4%

Political Science

2.3%

Writing

1.7%

Advertising

1.3%

Sociology

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Finance

1.1%

Public Administration

1.0%

Graphic Design

1.0%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.0%

Masters

24.3%

Other

10.7%

Certificate

3.1%

Associate

2.4%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.2%
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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 Dan Klores Communications LLC New York, NY Apr 04, 2016 $120,000
Public Relations Specialist The King Collective New York, NY Mar 07, 2015 $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 Mar 16, 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
Public Relations Specialist Liberty Miracle Limited Westbury, NY Jul 09, 2016 $41,740
Public Relations Specialist Rosales Del Rosario, P.C. NY Jul 15, 2016 $41,740
Public Relations Specialist Chinese Theatre Works, Inc. Islandia, NY Sep 17, 2016 $41,740
Public Relations Specialist Main Valley Inc. Alhambra, CA Oct 09, 2016 $41,740
Media Public Relation Specialist St. Joyal Commerce, CA Jan 09, 2016 $41,740
Public Relations Specialist Pan Pacific Commercial Link Inc. Union City, CA Sep 15, 2016 $41,740
PR Specialist Atlantic Led Inc. Ridgefield, NJ Sep 22, 2015 $41,740
Public Relation Specialist Main Valley Inc. Alhambra, CA May 09, 2016 $41,740

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Public Relations Specialist

Average Yearly Salary
$44,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$29,000
Min 10%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$44,000
Median 50%
$68,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.4 years
How much does a Public Relations Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Public Relations Specialist in the United States is $44,910 per year or $22 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $29,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $68,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Public Relations Specialist?

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Top Skills for A Public Relations Specialist

  1. Press Releases
  2. Web Application
  3. Special Events
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Write press releases covering campus news, curriculum announcements and community activities.
  • Managed multiple initiatives aimed at creating customer awareness, including to cause-related marketing and special events.
  • Monitor and supervise websites and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for two brands.
  • Handled media relations contacts, coordinated paid advertising, developed promotional materials, edited press releases, coordinated and attended events.
  • Developed and implemented university social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

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Top 10 Best States for Public Relations Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Alaska
  3. Virginia
  4. Massachusetts
  5. Rhode Island
  6. Washington
  7. New York
  8. Nevada
  9. New Jersey
  10. Michigan
  • (253 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (426 jobs)
  • (430 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)
  • (320 jobs)
  • (763 jobs)
  • (78 jobs)
  • (290 jobs)
  • (248 jobs)

Top Public Relations Specialist Employers

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