Public Relations Specialists
Career, Salary and Education Information
What They Do: Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent.
Work Environment: Public relations specialists usually work in offices. Some attend community activities or events. Long workdays are common, as is overtime.
How to Become One: Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.
Salary: The median annual wage for public relations specialists is $62,800.
Job Outlook: Employment of public relations specialists is projected to grow 8 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.
Related Careers: Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of public relations specialists with similar occupations.
Following is everything you need to know about a career as a public relations specialist with lots of details. As a first step, take a look at some of the following jobs, which are real jobs with real employers. You will be able to see the very real job career requirements for employers who are actively hiring. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this page to continue reading about the career:
Top 3 Public Relations Specialist Jobs
Public Relations Specialist
- Semaphore Brand Solutions (SBS)
- Irvine, CA
Semaphoreâ€™s Public Relations Specialist will help to create and promote the corporate identity and mission to customers, the public , and employees through the creation and distribution of ...
Public Relations Specialist
- Skybound Entertainment
- Los Angeles, CA
The Public Relations Specialist plays a key role in contributing to publicity efforts for IP-led projects across comics, board games, collectibles, digital programming, and other consumable ...
National Public Relations Specialist (Remote Freelance)
- STiR-communications, LLC
- Portland, OR
STiR-communications is looking for an experienced PR and media relations specialist who knows how to pitch stories and generate media coverage in top-tier media outlets. This is a remote-work ...
What Public Relations Specialists Do[About this section] [To Top]
Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They craft media releases and develop social media programs to shape public perception of their organization and increase awareness of its work and goals.
Duties of Public Relations Specialists
Public relations specialists typically do the following:
- Write press releases and prepare information for the media
- Respond to information requests from the media
- Help clients communicate effectively with the public
- Help maintain their organization's corporate image and identity
- Draft speeches and arrange interviews for an organization's top executives
- Evaluate advertising and promotion programs to determine whether they are compatible with their organization's public relations efforts
- Evaluate public opinion of clients through social media
Public relations specialists, also called communications specialists and media specialists, handle an organization's communication with the public, including consumers, investors, reporters, and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.
Public relations specialists draft press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of public relations specialists. For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what an organization does concerning that issue.
Press releases are increasingly being sent through the Internet and social media, in addition to publication through traditional media outlets. Public relations specialists are often in charge of monitoring and responding to social media questions and concerns.
Public relations specialists are different from advertisers in that they get their stories covered by media instead of purchasing ad space in publications and on television.
Work Environment for Public Relations Specialists[About this section] [To Top]
Public relations specialists hold about 276,800 jobs. The largest employers of public relations specialists are as follows:
|Educational services; state, local, and private||14%|
|Advertising, public relations, and related services||13%|
|Business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations||7%|
Public relations specialists usually work in offices, but they also deliver speeches, attend meetings and community activities, and occasionally travel.
Public Relations Specialist Work Schedules
Most public relations specialists work full time. Some work more than 40 hours per week.
How to Become a Public Relations Specialist[About this section] [To Top]
Get the education you need: Find schools for Public Relations Specialists near you!
Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor's degree. Employers prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.
Education for Public Relations Specialists
Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor's degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Through such programs, students produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates their ability to prospective employers.
Other Experience for Public Relations Specialists
Internships at public relations firms or in the public relations departments of other businesses can be helpful in getting a job as a public relations specialist.
Some employers prefer candidates who have experience communicating with others through a school newspaper or a leadership position in school or in their community.
Important Qualities for Public Relations Specialists
Interpersonal skills. Public relations specialists deal with the public and the media regularly; therefore, they must be open and friendly in order to maintain a favorable image for their organization.
Organizational skills. Public relations specialists are often in charge of managing several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.
Problem-solving skills. Public relations specialists sometimes must explain how a company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.
Speaking skills. Public relations specialists regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to clearly explain the organization's position.
Writing skills. Public relations specialists must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them in a short, succinct way, to get the attention of busy readers or listeners.
Public Relations Specialist Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]
The median annual wage for public relations specialists is $62,800. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,020, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $124,620.
The median annual wages for public relations specialists in the top industries in which they work are as follows:
|Advertising, public relations, and related services||$69,170|
|Business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations||$64,430|
|Educational services; state, local, and private||$61,860|
Most public relations specialists work full time during regular business hours. Long workdays are common, as is overtime.
Job Outlook for Public Relations Specialists[About this section] [To Top]
Employment of public relations specialists is projected to grow 8 percent over the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations.
About 27,400 openings for public relations specialists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Employment of Public Relations Specialists
Organizations will continue to emphasize community outreach and customer relations as a way to maintain and enhance their reputation and visibility. Public opinion can change quickly, particularly because both good and bad news spread rapidly through the Internet. Consequently, public relations specialists will be needed to respond to news developments and maintain their organization’s reputation.
The use of social media also is expected to create opportunities for public relations specialists as they try to appeal to consumers and the general public in new ways. Public relations specialists will be needed to help their clients use social media effectively.
|Occupational Title||Employment, 2021||Projected Employment, 2031||Change, 2021-31|
|Public relations specialists||276,800||299,200||8||22,300|
A portion of the information on this page is used by permission of the U.S. Department of Labor.