dcsimg

Public Relations Specialist

Job Duties

Public relations specialists work for various types of organizations, such as businesses, nonprofit associations, universities, and hospitals. They are responsible for coordinating many different kinds of projects concerning media and consumer relations; interest-group representation; political campaigns; conflict mediation; or employee and investor relations. They operate as advocates for organizations and are increasingly relied upon by management to supply sound strategic advice regarding how to best maintain positive relationships with the organization's targeted section of the public. Public relations specialists also work to understand the attitudes and concerns of consumers, employees, and other groups, as well as how best to facilitate communication and cooperation between these various groups.

Public relations specialists create working relationships with key individuals in broadcast and print media. They write press releases and use their media contacts to help them place the information in the most effective media sources. They often act as spokespersons for organizations, and may arrange meetings or other functions in which members of an organization meet with the public. They may assist an organization's representatives in preparing presentations and speaking engagements. Public relations specialists in government are sometimes referred to as press secretaries, public affairs specialists, or communication specialists, and are responsible for informing the public regarding government activities.

Job Skills

Aspiring public relation specialists should have a personality that is outgoing and confident. They should have a passion for motivating people. They need to be able to work well in a team setting, yet also have a high degree of competitiveness. Decision-making, problem-solving, and research skills are vital. They also need to have creativity, initiative, sound judgment, and the ability to express themselves clearly and concisely.

Income

In 2002, public relations specialists earned a median annual salary of $41,710. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $24,240, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $75,100. The following shows the median annual salaries in the industries employing the highest number of public relations specialists:

  • Advertising and related services -- $48,070
  • Local government -- $42,000
  • Business, professional, labor, and political organizations -- $39,330
  • Colleges, universities, and professional schools -- $36,820

Training and Education

No specific entry requirements exist for public relation specialists. The most common educational background is a college degree, plus experience in the field through an internship. Programs in public relations are offered at many colleges and universities across the U.S. Many of these schools will help students secure internships, an increasingly vital component of getting hired. Quite a few public relations specialists get started by doing public relations work in the Armed Forces. Some large organizations offer formal training programs for newly hired employees. Public relations specialists can become accredited through the Public Relations Society of America by demonstrating 5 years of experience and passing an extensive 6-hour test. The International Association of Business Communicators also offers accreditation.

Employment

In 2002, public relations specialists held about 158,000 jobs. Most worked in service industries, such as advertising and related services; health care and social assistance; educational services; and government.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, employment of public relations specialists is expected to increase faster than the average, due to the increased competitiveness in the world of business and the high value now placed on public relations maintenance by organizations. Competition will be high for entry-level jobs. Opportunities will be best for those with a bachelor's degree in some combination of journalism, public relations, or advertising, and who have completed an internship in the field.

For more information on a career as a public relations specialist, please see our directory of schools offering Media Training


Public Relations Specialist Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            MS in Marketing: Public Relations
            • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
            • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
            • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Public Relations, Master of Arts (Online)
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Arts in Strategic Communication - Advocacy and Social Impact Concentration
            • AU challenges students to combine serious study with real-world experience
            • 8 schools & 150+ programs including bachelor’s, master’s & doctoral degrees
            • MSA accredited with multiple accreditations per program, located in Wash. D.C.
            • Ranked #74 in “Best National Universities” by US News and World Report
            • Multiple financial aid options for eligible students in need
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Master of Science in Communication
            • Recognized for academic excellence, meaningful research & graduate achievement
            • Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission w/ programmatic accreditations
            • More than 200 majors with a beautiful campus location in Indiana
            • Top 5 public university in the U.S according to the Wall Street Journal
            • Has a helpful Academic Success Center to help students reach their potential
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            A.S. in Marketing
            • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Founded in 1890, it has a campus in Waterbury, CT and offers online degree program in eight-week modules, six times a year.
            • About 800 students are enrolled at the main campus, and about half of them commute.
            • Online courses help make it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in as little as 24 months and a master’s degree in 12-18 months.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Graphic Arts (AAS)
            • Offers several scholarship opportunities for students who qualify.
            • Laptop computers are issued to each student at the beginning of their program.
            • Provides programs in health care, business, information technology, and graphic arts.
            • Respiratory Therapy program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).


            Show more [+]
            Audio Production (BS)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Internet Marketing Certificate
            Benedictine University offers a liberal arts and professional education guided by Roman Catholic tradition. We prepare our students for a lifetime of leadership and responsible citizenry.
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Diploma - Web & Mobile Marketing
            Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986. The most significant evolution of the College started when its third CEO, Dr. Sabrina Kay, assumed leadership in 2007. Fremont College became an innovative center adopting the framework of Work-Based Learning Leadership at the Wharton School and Dr. Kay’s thesis on improved learning through practice and collaboration.
            • Online Courses