Public Relations Managers
Public relations managers direct publicity programs which have been created to enhance or protect the public image of a company, an organization or an individual. A PR manager oversees a staff of public relations workers. Public relations managers working in industries often answer questions and direct information to groups including consumers, stockholders and the general public. PR managers work in practically all industries.
Some of the common job titles are public relations director, communications director, community relations director, director of public relations and public affairs director.
A PR manager may also be asked to improve relations between employees and management. They might be responsible for inter-office newsletters and communications which are utilized to promote the company's image with company employees.
Some public relations managers collaborate with top-level managers to develop annual financial reports. They may be asked to clarify to public interest groups or community groups a company's stance on important issues.
In some companies, a public relations manager may analyze a sales promotion campaign to ensure the campaign is compatible with public relations goals and activities. They use various forms of media to convey their message.
- Supervise, assign and evaluate the activities of the public relations staff
- Oversee promotional events, charity functions and business shows
- Monitor social and industry trends
- Assist high level managers with writing speeches
- Write press releases
- Determine the best way to communicate with a particular group
- Develop and maintain a company's image
- Respond to requests for information regarding the activities or status of an employer
- Oversee communications budgets
PR managers typically have an office situated near the top executives. Public relations firms usually have plush offices since they are often the setting for meetings with media representatives and the public. PR managers may travel in order to meet with clients, special interest groups, the public and other groups and individuals.
Excellent written and oral communication skills are vital for the position. Enthusiasm and charm are valuable assets for a PR manager. They need to be able to deal with a wide variety of people and have good managerial skills. They also need to be able to work effectively under pressure.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a 17 percent employment growth for public relations managers from 2006 to 2016. Forecasted job growth varies by industry. In 2006 the median annual earnings for public relations managers was $82,180.
Public relations managers are often hired from the public relations staff within a company or organization. Some successful public relations personnel may move up to the position of public relations director. Those in public relations management may move up to top executive positions. Advancement is often primarily based on experience, ability and leadership qualities.
A good way to initiate a career in public relations is being involved with a nonprofit organization. The valuable experience gained via a nonprofit organization will help public relations specialists acquire a job in private industry which typically have a higher pay scale.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Many public relations managers have advanced degrees in the field they are employed in. A PR Manager working for a government agency may have a master's degree in public administration. Employers often seek applicants with a bachelor's or a master's degree in public relations or journalism.
Beneficial college courses include public affairs, public speaking, political science, business administration, advertising, sociology, psychology, creative and technical writing, graphic and audiovisual production, and journalism.
Some public relations managers attend seminars and continuing education programs in order to stay current in the field. Receiving accreditation from the Public Relations Society of America can be helpful for acquiring a job in the profession. Accreditation requires passing an oral and written test and five years experience.
The top employers are private industry, service providing industries, public relations agencies, government agencies, colleges and universities, and hospitals. Service providing industries such as educational services, finance and insurance; professional, scientific and technical services; social assistance and healthcare are major employers for public relations managers.
Schools for Public Relations Managers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.