Public Relations Careers 101

When there is an important announcement, public policy change or special event to advertise, someone needs to be in charge of getting the word out. Public relations specialists are the “go to” representatives for what is happening in the business or government agency. Public relations careers are a great way for outgoing people with excellent communications skills to use their interpersonal skills as a voice for the entity they represent.

Public relations representatives are the people who serve as ambassadors, if you will, to the public. They are the people who help to promote a positive, public image that spurs people on to want to engage the company, school or government agency in an effective manner. Public relations or “PR” specialists serve in an advisory role to their organization or company in helping them to put forth their best image.

Public relations careers are available in a vast number of arenas, including universities, all levels of government and companies of various sizes. All of these entities need representatives who can foster good employee relations as well as with those that the organization serves. Related jobs involve informing others about the organization as well as listening to what their customers and constituents have to say and incorporating the people’s voice into decision and policy making.

People who want to pursue PR careers often serve as media liaisons for the company or organization. These specialists regularly write informative and engaging press releases, so good writing skills are an essential quality for job candidates. The press releases are used in a number of media outlets, including radio, television, print and online media. Social media is a new and innovative arena that an up and coming source of advertising and sharing of information.

Someone who wants to land a position in this highly sought-after career should have at least a bachelor’s degree in public relations or communications, but those with degrees in journalism or advertising are also fitting candidates for the job. Many employers also like to see that candidates have received practical experience through internship opportunities in college or even beyond. Experience coupled with the educational training and background are key assets for PR job candidates.

Some entry-level jobs in public relations careers begin in an administrative capacity as a secretary or office assistant. They may get opportunities to write a press release or speech here and there to demonstrate their skills. Their patience can sometimes pay off as employees can work their way up to a PR position. People who are confident, talented communicators and possess great interpersonal skills have a bright career outlook.