What Does A Public Relations Specialist Do?

"I’ve been looking into different focuses in the communication field. I got started in communication last semester as a freshman. This year I’m going to be a sophomore, and it feels like time to start focusing in on a concentration so I can meet all the requirements before I graduate. I don’t want to wait until the last minute to pick my concentration and then have scheduling problems. I still don’t really know what interests me, though. I was thinking of PR simply because I have heard it is one of the higher-paying jobs in communication. What would I be doing if I decided on this as my focus? I want to be sure I will like it before I commit to it with my schedule adjustments."

asked by Sasha from Savannah, GA

Public relations specialists have a role which is pretty well described by the job title—their work involves keeping the public and other interested parties informed about their client or employer. Some PR specialists work directly for the companies they represent. Others may be employed by public relations agencies that work with a number of clients. Still others may contract out on their own, working as freelancers.

There are many duties which may be involved with PR. You will probably spend a lot of time preparing press releases, pamphlets, and other materials for the media. You will work with journalists and editors to put your client or employer in the spotlight.

You may respond to requests from journalists, associates, and members of the public for more information.

You also may put together multimedia packages like informative videos. You may be involved with brand awareness, working on logos, typography, colors, and designs.

As a PR agent, you also may work closely with executives and others in the company to improve their public communication skills. You might draft speeches for them to read, arrange interviews on their behalf, and train them in communication arts. You also may become involved with advertising. If your client is trying to raise funds, you might be charged with seeking out potential donors, applying for grants, and more.

So as you can see, PR agents wear many hats and may have a wide range of responsibilities.

Public relations managers can make even more money than specialists. With time and experience, you could achieve a management rank and direct teams of PR specialists. If you enjoy doing a wide range of activities and helping to present something in a positive light, you might do well with PR. PR specialists and managers provide a link between a company and the public, and are responsible for building positive and constructive relations between them.

Career Spotlight: Public Relations Specialist

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