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How to become a Public Relations Professional

Public relations professionals use their communication skills to build relationships between organisations and the public. They implement communication and marketing strategies that help people understand what organisations do and their role within the community, and help maintain the organisation’s good reputation.

If you’re a skilled communicator, confident with public speaking, and want a job that can take you almost anywhere in the world, becoming a public relations professional could be perfect for you.

What skills do I need as a public relations professional?

  • Great communicator
  • Can work well under pressure
  • Excellent public speaker
  • Confident & reliable
  • Trustworthy & friendly
  • Organised with good time management skills
  • Adaptable & can think on your feet
  • Works well in a team & independently

What tasks can I expect to do?

  • Prepare and implement publicity campaigns and media strategies
  • Speak to the media and public on behalf of an organisation
  • Organise and attend special events for publicity
  • Create crisis management plans to help maintain a good reputation
  • Monitor press and media coverage about an organisation
  • Advise management and executives on the public impact of their policies and decisions
  • Collect and analyse data about public opinion
  • Proof and approve external communications about an organisation

What industries do public relations professionals typically work in?

  • Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
  • Public Administration and Safety
  • Health Care and Social Assistance

What kind of lifestyle can I expect?

Part-time roles are relatively uncommon for public relations professionals, with most working full-time. There is also the chance that you will have to do some overtime or weekend work.

Most public relations professionals earn an average wage.

Most of your work will be done indoors, with lots of face-to-face and interpersonal communication. There is often the opportunity for travel to attend conferences and events. You may be able to do some of your work remotely or from home, but often need to attend events and speak to stakeholders in person.

How to become a public relations professional

You typically need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, business, or a related field. Additionally, gaining experience through internships or entry-level positions is highly recommended.

Continuing education and professional development courses can also enhance your skills and knowledge in the field.

If you’re in high school now and are thinking of a career in public relations in the future, here are some steps you could take:

  • Volunteer or find work experience somewhere you will have the chance to work with the public and build your communication skills and confidence.
  • Learning another language can help you promote a business or organisation to a much wider audience, and boost your prospects with potential employers.
  • Start thinking about which industries and businesses interest you the most and do some research into what they do. Building networks now can help you when looking for work in the future.

Find out more here:

Similar careers to public relations professional

  • Journalist
  • Advertising Agent
  • Business Development Manager
  • Brand Manager
  • Social Media Manager
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Communications Officer
  • Copywriter

Find out more about alternative careers.

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