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Job Description of a Press Secretary

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Press secretaries are public relations specialists who help government officials build relationships with the public and the media. They inform the public about the activities of government agencies and constituents about the accomplishments of elected officials.

General Responsibilities

A press secretary represents a government agency or official to the media, via live briefings, press conferences and news releases.

Tasks

Specific tasks include representing the agency or office, developing relationships with members of the media, writing news releases, developing communications strategies, responding to questions from the media and the public and coordinating the distribution of information.

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Qualifications

Starting positions may require a bachelor's degree in a relevant field and at least one year’s experience in media, public relations or another writing-intensive position. Knowledge of government, economics, current issues and the agency or official’s public policy, and the ability to manage multiple projects under pressure, are essential.

Knowledge and Skills

Knowledge of media production and information dissemination, mastery of the English language—both written and spoken—and mature judgment are required. Familiarity with computers and software—including word processing, graphics, video and website management software—is important.

White House Press Secretary

Perhaps the most famous press secretary position is that of White House press secretary, a senior official who acts as spokesperson for the current administration, briefing the White House press corps and presiding over televised press conferences.

About the Author

Kat Milner has 35 years' experience in publishing and design, both for print and for Internet. Her background includes business, technical, and educational writing and editing; book editing (fiction and nonfiction); news editing; feature writing (celebrity interviews, music reviews); and publication design. She attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

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