The job of a public relations manager involves controlling the public image of their clients. However, in a management role, public relations managers might also be charged with supervising other employees in their organization and may be responsible for the management of their clients’ accounts.
Individuals interested in pursuing a career as a public relations manager are often required to earn a bachelor's degree in communications, public relations, English, journalism, or a similar field. Some employers might value those who hold a master’s degree. Most often public relations managers develop their skills through a combination of education and industry experience, common potential entry level careers options for individuals interested in pursuing a career as a public relations manager include; public relations specialists or fundraisers.
Public relations managers are spokes persons for their clients. They communicate with media outlets about their client’s accomplishments and current projects, and sometimes work to mitigate damage done to their client’s image from negative news stories. For example, in response to a growing public interest in affordable health care, a public relations manager for a pharmaceutical company may create a campaign to publicize its efforts to develop affordable medications.
In large organizations, public relations managers may supervise a staff of public relations specialists. They may also work with the advertising and marketing managers of their organizations to ensure that the larger company image supports marketing strategy. For example, if a firm’s target audience is senior citizens, the public relations manager will work to disseminate information about the company that will encourage a positive perception of the company by that demographic.
Public relations managers work with many types of specialists to report facts accurately. In some cases, they work with lawyers to ensure that the information they release is both legally acceptable and clear to the public. They also handle internal communications such as company newsletters, and can assist financial managers in preparing organization’s reports.
Public relations managers deal with the public frequently and so must be able to build relationship and receive support from their media contacts and donors. As public relations managers often work in stressful environments and run several events at the same time, they often need exceptional organizational and time management skills. Because their job description often involves supervision of other employees, public relations managers should also possess interpersonal and employee management skills. Although public relations managers are usually found in offices during regular business hours, travelling might also be a huge part of their job, as some PR professionals are sometimes required to deliver speeches or attend meetings and community activities
Some of the duties of public relations managers might include:
Help build their clients image and identity
Maintain the public image of their clients and help their clients to interact with the public
Write press releases and speeches and prepare information for the media
Lead large teams of specialists or fundraisers
Identify target groups and audiences and find the best way to reach them
Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
Create advertisement and promotional programs
Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff
Public Relation Manager Career & Salary Overview
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for public relations and fundraising managers in the United States was $95,450 in May 2012. The salary ranged from $51,630 (earned by the lowest 10 percent) to more than $180,480 (earned by the top 10 percent). According to the BLS, employment of public relations managers is expected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022.