Duties and responsibilities
A public relations officer (PRO) uses a wide range of media to build and sustain a good image for a company, organization or brand through planned publicity campaigns and PR activity. They are typically employed by advertising or marketing agencies, consultancies, commercial and industrial organizations, private companies, retailers, manufacturers, charities and government organizations. They have a huge amount of responsibility, which includes things such as:
- Planning publicity strategies and campaigns
- Writing and producing presentations and press releases
- Dealing with enquiries from the public, the press, and related organisations
- Organising and attending promotional events such as press conferences
- Providing clients with information about new promotional opportunities and current PR campaigns progress
- Analysing media coverage
- Liaising with clients, managerial and journalistic staff about budgets, timescales and objective
Ideally, a PRO will have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as english or journalism.
What is most important, however, is work experience. Most PRO’s will advance up from lower level public relations positions within the company. Therefore, they need be dedicated and committed to gathering suitable work experience in a related field. Experience in Human Resources, or other people-focused roles, is also incredibly beneficial.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as relevant experience and a good education, PRO’s will need skills such as:
- Interpersonal skills, as PROs will work closely with other organization employees and with members of the public
- Verbal and written communication skills, as PRO’s will need write speeches, media campaigns and speak at press releases
- Creativity, as PRO’s need to create gripping, unique and exciting campaigns that promote the companies image
- Organization skills, as PRO’s will have many different projects to oversee at once and must be able to organize their time
Most PRO’s will work full time. They may often find themselves working overtime or long hours to meet deadlines. They may also travel a lot to attend meetings, press conferences and to do media campaigns.
According to payscale.com, the median annual salary for a PRO in the United States is $56,000. The bottom 10% can expect to earn less than $40,000 and the highest 10% earn over $112,000 per annum.
PROs progress from lower-level public relations roles. They will report directly to the Chief Public Relations Officer, or to company executive . As a result, their progression would be into one of these roles. However, in smaller organizations, PROs will have more responsibilities and control.