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What Is a Public Relations Specialist and How to Become One

Public Relations Specialist

What Is a Public Relations Specialist?

A public relations specialist is responsible for the reputation management of a business or organization. In this career, your job duties include ensuring the business’s public image remains positive while handing relationship management between media outlets and consumers. As the PR specialist, you’re in charge of media communication. This includes building a media kit, handling social media posts, writing and publishing a press release or media release on after major events or incidents, organizing PR events, brainstorming PR campaigns to create positive brand awareness. Your responsibilities in this role are wide and diverse, so you must be comfortable in many different consumer marketing disciplines.

How Do I Become a Public Relations Specialist?

The qualifications needed to become a public relations specialist include a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communication, journalism, or related field. This is a competitive industry, so in addition to a bachelor’s degree, it’s important to complete at least one internship and gain experience in school leadership roles to build a portfolio for future employers. After working in the industry for five years, there is an optional accreditation which can provide you with additional job opportunities. You should be comfortable being a liaison between not just the public, but with other media such as reporters and print editors that may be interested in writing stories about your press releases. You are expected to develop pitches to create interest in your business’s stories.

What Is the Difference Between Public Affairs and Public Relations?

There is often confusion about the differences between public affairs and public relations since both deal with building relationships with the public, but the methods for doing this are slightly different. Public affairs relate to matters of a business that concerns the public directly, such as legislation, administration, and policing. The goal here should be to build community alliances. Public relations focuses on a business’s connection with the public and is responsible for strengthening those relationships through marketing strategies such as media release, social media community-building, and advertising. This requires creativity and the development of fresh and unique ideas to capture the public’s attention.

Public Relations Specialist Job Description Sample

With this Public Relations Specialist job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Public Relations Specialist role.

Job Summary

Our organization is looking for a Public Relations Specialist to help shape and promote our public image. In addition to performing market research and developing campaign strategies, you will coordinate PR and outreach events in our target community. Your job duties include writing and distributing press releases, creating press kits for new products and services, making internal and external presentations, and pitching innovative marketing ideas to upper management. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and at least two years of PR or marketing experience.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Help develop and implement marketing strategy
  • Promote a positive public image of our organization
  • Coordinate PR events and campaigns
  • Write and edit news releases
  • Make internal and external presentations
  • Pitch ideas to organization leadership
  • Create press kits for media outlets
  • Write or manage content creation for digital platforms, including social media

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, or marketing
  • Experience working on PR or marketing campaigns (2-5 years preferred)
  • Familiar with various digital media platforms
  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Networking skills