How To Become A Public Relations Specialist

How To Become A Public Relations Specialist

Members of the general public largely derive their perception of a company or organization from the media. What they sometimes don’t see is that the information they get is often designed so as to be favorable for the organization. If you find the idea of shaping the public image of a company appealing, a career as a public relations specialist could be something you like to do.

In this profession, you have the opportunity to form and keep the identity of the corporation you represent. Part of your work is writing press releases for the media and reviewing the firm’s advertising and promotional advertisements to see if they are in consonance with the public relations initiatives of the company.

You will also be responding to questions about the firm from reporters and coordinating interviews between the media and company representatives.

In addition to excellent communication skills, you need to posses outstanding interpersonal skills in this job since you will be regularly interacting with members of the media and the public. You need to have the uncanny ability to solve problems and be highly organized in this profession as well.

Why Become A Public Relations Specialist

If you are a people person and genuinely love to interact with people, a career as a public relations specialist will prove to be gratifying. Opportunities for employment are rife, particularly in the field of social media which is increasingly being used by companies to connect with consumers. This will also prove to be a fulfilling if you are the type who thrives in solving problems in a stressful and fast-paced environment.

Public Relations Specialist Work Environment

Public relations specialists typically work in an office setting. They may also be asked to give speeches and attend meetings and other activities. If these events are held in another place, they may be required to travel.

Public relations specialists mostly work for religious, civic, grantmaking and similar organizations, in advertising and public relations companies, in educational, government as well as in healthcare industries. Extended hours are common in this profession.

Public Relations Specialist Salary

According to the May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual wage of public relations specialists is $63,020 or a median wage of $26.41 per hour. This is a bit higher than the salary received by all media and communication workers combined which is pegged at $59,500 annually although broadcast news analysts are paid higher at $84,710.

Average Public Relations Specialist Salary

Public Relations Specialist Salary By State

Rank State Hourly Rate Annual Salary
#1 District of Columbia $78.16 $162,570
#2 New York $76.09 $158,260
#3 New Jersey $74.76 $155,500
#4 Rhode Island $72.19 $150,150
#5 Delaware $71.05 $147,790
#6 Virginia $70.97 $147,620
#7 Colorado $65.04 $135,290
#8 California $64.13 $133,390
#9 Texas $62.05 $129,060
#10 Massachusetts $60.81 $126,490
#11 North Carolina $58.81 $122,320
#12 New Hampshire $58.07 $120,790
#13 Connecticut $57.89 $120,420
#14 Pennsylvania $57.64 $119,900
#15 Maryland $56.72 $117,970
#16 Florida $56.44 $117,390
#17 Alaska $55.37 $115,180
#18 Georgia $54.79 $113,960
#19 Ohio $54.52 $113,400
#20 Illinois $54.19 $112,720
#21 Minnesota $53.79 $111,880
#22 Washington $53.48 $111,240
#23 Michigan $53.30 $110,870
#24 Kansas $52.61 $109,420
#25 Missouri $52.07 $108,310
#26 Vermont $51.18 $106,460
#27 Nevada $48.83 $101,570
#28 Utah $47.20 $98,170
#29 Tennessee $47.00 $97,750
#30 Wisconsin $46.73 $97,200
#31 Arizona $45.83 $95,320
#32 Indiana $45.52 $94,680
#33 Nebraska $45.45 $94,540
#34 Alabama $45.27 $94,150
#35 Hawaii $44.46 $92,470
#36 North Dakota $44.29 $92,120
#37 Arkansas $44.14 $91,810
#38 Oregon $43.69 $90,870
#39 Iowa $41.97 $87,290
#40 Maine $41.88 $87,120
#41 Kentucky $40.71 $84,680
#42 Oklahoma $40.42 $84,080
#43 South Carolina $40.03 $83,250
#44 New Mexico $39.92 $83,040
#45 Montana $39.76 $82,700
#46 Idaho $37.96 $78,960
#47 Louisiana $37.94 $78,910
#48 West Virginia $36.00 $74,890
#49 Mississippi $35.80 $74,450
#50 Puerto Rico $29.39 $61,130

Public Relations Specialist Career Outlook

Public relations specialists can expect demand for them to grow 12 percent for the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022. From the 229,100 public relations specialists employed in 2012, their employment is projected to reach 256,500 in 2022.

Their services will be needed by companies looking to maintain their image and reputation in the ever expanding world of digital media. Competition is set to be fierce as there are only a limited number of public relations positions that will be offered every year.

Public Relations Specialist Degree

A bachelor’s degree is required for one to become a public relations specialist. These programs can be in public relations, communications, business, journalism or English. Interning at a public relations company or the public relations department of a company will help the aspiring public relations specialist get an entry-level position after graduation.

Writing for the school paper or leadership positions in school organizations can also enhance one’s credentials.

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