PR campaigns surround us everywhere we go, even if we don’t realize it; every time we talk about celebrities or a product with our friends, it means some type of communication or media campaign got to us.
The field of Public Relations revolves entirely on how people perceive you. The main goal of any professional in this field is to create and maintain a positive image of their client in order to create a favorable public opinion and help improve their business. Public Relation professionals may specialize or work closely with other professionals from related fields and industries due to the variety of clients they may represent. Some of them choose to specialize on celebrities, politicians, or big companies, among other possibilities.
This is a dynamic and fast paced field of work where a crisis can arise in a matter of seconds and it is the job of PR professionals to handle these situations.
All positions in this field require professionals to mix their creativity with their critical and strategical thinking. Most campaigns take months or even years to plan. Research and preparation are a must for any successful professional in this field. They must always be ready for whatever situation or crisis that may come their way.
Professionals in the Public Relations industry are usually responsible for the following:
- Writing press statements and releasing them to the media.
- Answering questions during press conferences and interviews on behalf of their client.
- Creating a positive image of their client in the eyes of the media and the public.
- Upholding the interests of both their company and their client’s.
- Writing speeches and preparing clients for interviews.
- Preparing and planning short and long term publicity strategies.
All professionals working in the Public Relations field usually share the same characteristics, which include, but are not limited to:
- Having outstanding communication skills, both written and verbal, in order to be able to write press releases and make presentations and public statements.
- Being great at multitasking and establishing priorities; being able to manage time efficiently.
- Being confident enough to address the public and the media, as well as to give presentations and pitches to the client.
- Being trustworthy enough to manage sensitive/confidential information.
- Possessing an engaging, charismatic, and proactive personality in order to keep up with the pace of the field and create liaisons with other professionals.
A company’s reputation can make the difference between profit and bankruptcy. It is the sole mission of any professional working in Public Relations to maintain the reputation of their client and themselves by aiming to always be portrayed in a positive light. However, the PR industry has been slowing down in the recent years due to the fact that, every day, more and more written media outlets are going digital. In order to adapt to the ever-changing demand, the PR industry has become more Marketing-oriented, meaning professionals from this field are now more inclined to use Marketing strategies to unlock visibility opportunities, such as investing in advertising or visibility partnerships.
Public Relations is an ever-changing industry and offers excellent career development opportunities. However, the level of competition in the area tends to be very high for all jobs. PR departments and agencies don’t always adhere to traditional patterns of career progression; nevertheless, if the candidate demonstrates outstanding ability, expertise, motivation, creativity, and reaches their goals, promotion can be right around the corner. When entering the PR field, is common to expect to work as a PR Assistant or Junior Account Executive for 1 or 2 years before getting promoted to PR Coordinator or Account Executive. Progressing further into management-level positions is likely to take more than 2 or 3 years, and the promotion heavily depends on the candidate’s aptitude, performance, and motivation.