Public Relations Specialists

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Also known as:
Certified Meeting Professional, Conference Organizer, Conference Planner, Conference Planning Manager, Conference Services Director, Conference Services Manager, Convention Planner, Convention Services Manager, Corporate Meeting Planner, Event Planner

ABOUT PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIST CAREERS
Video transcript

Telling the world about a business, product, cause, candidate, organization, or institution is the work of public relations specialists and publicity writers. A public relations specialist can provide strategic advice about "how to get the word out," and about how policies might impact consumers, voters, shareholders, fund-raisers, and other people the client needs to reach.

To do that job effectively, the specialist maintains contacts with the news media and organizations that are important in a particular field. For example, a public relations specialist working with a pharmaceutical company cultivates relationships with doctors and medical journals.

Quite often a news report on the air or in print starts with the public relations specialist or publicity writer. They develop news conferences, set up speaking engagements, or create events; then send out press releases so the news media will cover them.

This is a fast-growing field that makes a lot of demands on those who compete to find jobs and succeed. It requires creativity, confidence, and good judgment. A willingness to work long hours during a crisis or on deadline is essential.

Some large corporations have their own public relations departments, but increasingly, jobs are available in public relations firms, many of which specialize in certain, so a background in a particular field can be an advantage. So can journalism experience.

A good candidate for an entry-level position is a college graduate with a degree in journalism, public relations, advertising, or other communications-related field. It's a good idea to seek an internship with a public relations firm while you're still in college.

SNAPSHOT
Promote or create an intended public image for individuals, groups, or organizations. May write or select material for release to various communications media. May specialize in using social media.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
MED
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
MED
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Develop plans or materials to communicate organizational activities that are beneficial to the environment, public safety, or other important social issues.

Coordinate public responses to environmental management incidents or conflicts.

Confer with production or support personnel to produce or coordinate production of advertisements or promotions.

Consult with advertising agencies or staff to arrange promotional campaigns in all types of media for products, organizations, or individuals.

Prepare or deliver speeches to further public relations objectives.

Arrange public appearances, lectures, contests, or exhibits for clients to increase product or service awareness or to promote goodwill.

Confer with other managers to identify trends or key group interests or concerns or to provide advice on business decisions.

Study the objectives, promotional policies, or needs of organizations to develop public relations strategies that will influence public opinion or promote ideas, products, or services.

Coach client representatives in effective communication with the public or with employees.

Plan or direct development or communication of programs to maintain favorable public or stockholder perceptions of an organization's accomplishments, agenda, or environmental responsibility.

Establish or maintain cooperative relationships with representatives of community, consumer, employee, or public interest groups.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Developing Objectives and Strategies Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Sales and Marketing Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.