How To Become A Public Relations Specialist? – Steps To Follow

by Job & Career 30 November 2023

public relations specialist

A Public Relations Specialist is a person who helps in generating a positive public image of individuals or businesses. They make use of social media, press correspondence, and media coverage to ensure that their clients have a good image in the public. Whether it is a popular organization or a famous celebrity, a public relations specialist works for all these clients. Such experts work behind the scenes to ensure their clients’ good relationship with the public.

In this article, you will learn about the job and role of public relations specialists. Apart from that, you will also learn about the salaries and functions of these experts, where you will get a good idea of what public relations specialists actually do. Finally, we will share with you a few steps following which you will be able to become a public relations specialist yourself. Hence, to learn more, read on through to the end of the article.

Who Is A Public Relations Specialist?

Who Is A Public Relations Specialist

According to Forbes.com, “Public relations specialists are often entry-level employees at public relations firms and agencies. They work through speeches, press releases and social media campaigns. Daily tasks for public relations specialists may include responding to media requests, arranging interviews, crafting press releases, drafting speeches and monitoring public opinion through social media platforms.”

These professionals can work for individual clients (businesses or celebrities). Businesses thus hire PR agencies or implement in-house professionals in marketing departments. These PR professionals, in general, work from offices. In some cases, they also need to travel to various places and also attend speeches and press briefings. With proper experience, a public relations specialist can advance in his career to become a public relations manager.

The average salary of a public relations specialist in the US (as of May 2022) is $67,440. The range of salary can change with the experience of the PR specialist and also the state in which the public relations specialist operates.

What Are The Functions Of A Public Relations Specialist?

What Are The Functions Of A Public Relations Specialist

According to Indeed.com, “Rather than paying for advertising, public relations specialists raise their client’s public image by writing resources for the media to use in their coverage, engaging the client’s audience on social media and building a relationship with the press. PR specialists work in a variety of industries, including education, advertising, politics and government. In politics and government, they may be referred to as press secretaries.

The following are the everyday functions of a public relations specialist:

  • Creating press releases for the client.
  • Preparing media packets.
  • Communicating news and updates with the press.
  • Ensure the public relations of the client are better through boosting and monitoring.
  • Writing speeches for the clients and outlining them.
  • Organization of interviews and media spotlights for the clients or leaders of the concerned organization.
  • Updating and reviewing promotional campaigns for the client to make sure that the brand’s public perception is improved.
  • Using social media to check client’s reputations and boost the same.

Steps To Become A Public Relations Specialist

Steps To Become A Public Relations Specialist

The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics states – “Employment of public relations specialists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations. About 25,800 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.”

The following are the steps you must take to become a public relations specialist:

1. Earn A Bachelor’s Degree

Some of the best subjects to get your bachelor’s degree in are public relations, journalism, communications, English, or management. However, if you want to work in government or politics, consider getting a major in political science. You can also get skills in advertising, marketing, public speaking, administration, writing, etc.

2. Get Training For The Job

If you are starting out, doing an internship while in school is a great way to gain experience in the industry. This will help you apply better for a public relations job. If you have already graduated, go for an entry-level PR job. This will help you to stand out with your resume in the coming years.

3. Get A Specialization

You must get your specialization based on the industry you want to work in. Some of the major industries where there are needs for public relations specialists are advertising, government, politics, education, business, etc. Consider focusing on one industry, and learn the ins and outs of the job related to that industry.

4. Join A Professional Organization

Joining a professional organization can boost your professional image. Consider joining associations like the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) or the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). You can also get various updates and training from these organizations.

5. Get A Certificate

Having a certificate can show that you are competent enough to work as a public relations specialist. The certificate shows your expertise and enhances your skills, which lets you stand out from others.

6. Create Your Portfolio

Employers prefer that you submit a portfolio for your job. You must include the projects that you completed during your training and internships, your experiences, your related assignments from college, other achievements, etc. You must also highlight your skills in the portfolio.

Wrapping Up

Hope this article was helpful for you in getting a better idea of how to become a public relations specialist. All you need to do now is follow the steps mentioned above. Having a career in public relations is very lucrative. Although the job can get challenging on one side, it is surely rewarding on the other side. The job is to ensure that your client has good public relationships.

With the rise in the usage of digital media and marketing practices, the role of public relations specialists has become increasingly important. By 2031, there shall be a job growth for public relations specialists by 8%, making it one of the fastest-growing occupations. Do you have any more info to add? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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A passionate writer and an avid reader, Soumava is academically inclined and loves writing on topics requiring deep research. Having 3+ years of experience, Soumava also loves writing blogs in other domains, including digital marketing, business, technology, travel, and sports.

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