Public relations (PR) is a distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain lines of communication between an organisation and its publics. Public Relations uses the editorial space within print publications, websites, television and radio shows to communicate a brand's message. Essentially it is about managing reputation.
Public relations officers typically hold a bachelor's degree in public relations or a related field, such as journalism, English, business or communications.
Develop practical skills
Aspiring public relations officers typically need to use computer software and the Internet for research, communication and desktop publishing, according to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is affiliated with the PRSA. The PRSSA also notes that developing persuasive writing, editing and public speaking skills is critical for aspiring public relations officers.
Find an internship
Participating in an internship may help aspiring public relations officers develop job related skills. According to the PRSSA, public relations firms and corporations aren't the only organizations that offer internship opportunities. Internship experiences may also be available through local schools, museums, hospitals and sports teams.
Join a public relations student society
Joining pre-professional organizations like the PRSSA can be an effective way to develop public relations knowledge and skills. Members of university PRSSA chapters have access to industry and educational information, as well as internships and scholarships.
A PR officer often works in-house and can be found in both the private and public sectors, from the utility and media sectors to voluntary and not-for-profit organisations. Some PR officers may be based in consultancies.
The BLS indicates that aspiring public relations officers may be required to gain several years of experience in the field before advancing to management positions. Entry-level public relations workers assume a number of responsibilities, including searching for print articles about their organizations and maintaining files of these articles. They may also gather and prepare information for speeches and media releases.