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Public Relations Specialist Job description

The job of a public relations specialist involves shaping the public view of their clients through media and press releases, speeches and other public appearances. Public relations specialists deal with the public and the media on daily basis and therefore, they may benefit from projecting a persona that is open and easily approachable in order to maintain a favorable image for their organization and/or client. People interested in pursuing careers as public relations specialists should ideally possess knowledge of the commonly-used terms, practices, and methods utilized in the field, be friendly and outgoing, and also be able to adapt quickly to new and unexpected situations that may face their clients.

Individuals interested in pursuing careers as public relations specialist are typically required to have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, journalism, English or a related field. Real world work experience in the field may serve to enhance opportunities for aspiring public relations professionals.

Maintaining a publicly approved image for their client, which can be an organization or an individual, is the main work of a public relations specialist. However, their work also involves managing their client’s interaction with the public, which refers to consumers, reporters, investors, press, and other media outlets. Public relations specialists must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

In an entry level position, common duties for a public relations specialist may include maintaining materials about company activities, sorting important articles, and sourcing information for speeches. After acquiring enough experience, public relation specialists might be asked to write press releases, prepare speeches, or create articles.

When pursuing a career to become a PR specialist, you should expect to perform some, if not all, of the following duties:

  • Draft press releases and speeches
  • Liaise with people in the media to print or broadcast their material
  • Arrange interviews for your clients
  • Explain how a client should handle sensitive issues
  • Speak on behalf of your client in public venues or press conferences
  • Access advertising and promotion programs
  • Plan an direct programs that help maintain or create a favorable public image for your client
  • Create documents and other forms of communication for your client
  • Create marketing and promotional materials, both print and electronic
  • Design and launch email, twitter and other social media marketing campaigns

Public Relations Specialist Career & Salary Potential Overview

Public relations specialists may be employed across many different industries. According to the BLS, most specialists are employed on a full time basis, and professionals in this field should expect to experience long work days and overtime.

The annual public relations specialist salary depends on a number of factors including the type of industry, organizational size, location, years of experience, and educational level. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for public relations specialists in 2012 was about $54,170. Salaries among public relations specialists varied greatly during that time period; $30,760 (earned by the lowest 10%) to $101,030 (earned by the highest 10%).

Employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by about 12 percent from 2013 to 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Much of this growth may be related to the increased use of social media by individuals and companies. This new media provides PR professionals’ new means through which they can connect with the public.

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