A public relations professional handles the marketing and writing and editing of press material, for a client or company. PR workers are typically the links between their companies and the broadcast and print media. They aim to make the public aware of new products, services or events or update statistics or trends, related to their company. Much of the time, PR professionals act as company spokesmen when questioned by journalists.
Public relations professionals must be able to take information regarding their company and effectively communicate to the media, aiming to highlight the company’s strong points and reach a broad audience. They also might advise clients on how much information to divulge to the media, as well as issue credentials and other passes to certain events. Many PR professionals follow up on press releases by asking a media member if he needs more information.
A public relations professional must possess excellent communication skills, both written and verbal. She should have a firm grasp of grammar and be able to put a positive spin on various aspects related to her company or client. She should be courteous, outgoing, organized and a capable problem solver, as well as a strong typist and editor.
Most companies prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree when hiring a public relations worker. Areas of study for members of PR departments usually include journalism, communications, marketing and business. Some may have spent time working for print publications or broadcast stations, where they learn the communication skills needed for a PR job.
Jobs for public relations professionals are expected to grow by 24 percent during the 2008-18 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is a faster growth rate than for all occupations during that decade.
PR workers earned anywhere from $29,000 to more than $72,000 per year in March 2010, PayScale.com reported. Much of those numbers were based on the PR worker’s experience and industry. Meanwhile, the BLS reported PR specialists earned a median yearly salary of $51,280 in May 2008.
Professional sports teams are always in need of PR workers to relay information to the media, and therefore, sports fans. For instance, a PR employee of an NFL team must keep accurate stats of every athlete on the roster, compiling information such as the quarterback’s passer rating to the running back’s total yardage to the coach’s all-time record in games decided by a touchdown. The PR worker then puts these figures in sentence form, highlighting the most impressive stats, then forwards them to reporters who cover the team. NFL PR workers also provide daily updates on injuries and transactions.
2016 Salary Information for Public Relations Specialists
Public relations specialists earned a median annual salary of $58,020 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, public relations specialists earned a 25th percentile salary of $42,450, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $79,650, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 259,600 people were employed in the U.S. as public relations specialists.