Career of the Week-- Public Relations Specialist
Public relations specialists serve as a bridge between clients and the public to help build and maintain positive relationships. Clients may include, but are not limited to, businesses, nonprofit associations, universities and hospitals. Organizational functions a public relations specialist may handle are media, community, consumer, industry, and governmental relations; political campaigns; interest-group representation; conflict mediation and much more. It is important for public relations specialists to be knowledgeable of the attitudes and concerns of community, consumer, employee and public interest groups and have the ability to establish and maintain relationships between them and representatives from print and broadcast journalism.
Public relations specialists complete a variety of tasks including drafting press releases and contacting members of the media who may print or broadcast their material. Many reports, stories and articles viewed in the media begin at the desk of public relations specialists. Another job duty could be to arrange and conduct programming to maintain contact between organizational representatives and the public, for example making a slide show for a speaking engagement for officials. Public relations specialists in governmental positions may be called press secretaries. Their job is to keep the public informed about the activities of agents and officials. In large organizations, public relations specialists write, research, prepare materials, maintain contacts, and respond to inquiries.
For this field of work, common degrees are public relations, journalism, or communications. Business and Marketing Education is also a great degree for this career. To find out more information about this major, click here. Employers seek applicants with demonstrated communication skills and training experience in a field related to the firm's business. Internships in public relations help students gain valuable experience and the best route to finding entry level employment.
Important Points:• Employment is expected to grow faster than average
• Opportunities are best for college graduates who combine their degree with a public relations internship or other related work experience. GoldPASS, Career Fairs and Networking are great ways to find internships in this area. Click here
(Adapted from the Occupational Outlook Handbook)