Most are aware that public relations is responsible for maintaining a positive public image for an organization, but what does a public relations specialist do for a company? Also referred to as communications specialists, public relations specialists work hard to design media releases that shape public perception of their company and handle all of the company’s communications with the general public. As companies continue to place an emphasis on customer relations in an effort to enhance their reputation, increase exposure, and drive profit, the employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by 12%, thus creating over 27,400 new jobs before 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you are interested in pursuing this dynamic career path, the following is an overview of what public relations specialists do.
Public Relations Specialist Job Description
In an effort to keep the public informed about a company’s goals, public relations specialists are given the responsibility of handling communications with customers, potential investors, reporters, and other media professionals to maintain a favorable image. Along with traditional publications through media outlets, the digital age is increasing the number of press releases that PR specialists send through the Internet and social media as well. Unlike advertisers, public relations specialists focus on getting their company covered by media sources rather than purchasing advertising space. On the typical press release, public relations specialists will describe how a company is helping an issue of public interest, such as the environment, sustainable energy, healthcare services, or job growth.
Responsibilities of Public Relations Specialists
Within their full-time workday during regular business hours, public relations specialists are focused on drafting press releases and contacting various media sources who might print or broadcast the material to increase awareness of a company’s activities. Generally, PR specialists will prepare information for the media, respond to information request, help companies communicate positively with the general public, maintain a company’s corporate identity, draft speeches for top executives, and assess promotional programs. In addition to standard press releases, public relations specialists create media relations content, executive bios, white papers, case studies, social media profiles, corporate newsletters, and interview proposals. In short, public relations specialists work diligently to help clarify the company’s point of view and communicate it effectively to potential customers through the media.
Steps to Become a Public Relations Specialist
In the majority of cases, company employers will prefer hiring public relations specialists who have at least a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, English, communications, or business. While pursuing a relevant undergraduate degree, aspiring PR specialists should create a comprehensive portfolio of work that clearly showcases their abilities in creating eye-catching press releases to prospective employers. Whenever possible, participate in internships at public relations firms or in public relations departments of companies to obtain helpful work experience. Furthermore, gaining communication skills through writing for your school’s newspaper or landing a leadership position in a school club can demonstrate that you have the abilities needed to speak on behalf of an organization.
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Overall, public relations specialists have been ranked as the best creative job by the U.S. News and World Report for its projected growth, especially in social media. Now that you are aware of what does a public relations specialist do for a company, you can decide if you want to pursue this in-demand career for generating positive publicity that boosts reputation.