A Public Relations Manager is in charge of all the PR activities carried out throughout the different establishments and departments involved in most businesses (e.g. commercial, industrial, and electronic). These professionals are traditionally hired by government entities, advertising, marketing, and public relations firms, as well as consulting businesses. PR Managers have the responsibility of maintaining or improving the public image of the company or client they work for by planning and directing the creation of material.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Public Relations Manager are required to complete.
- Directing and evaluating establishments and departments of a company that develop and implement communication strategies and information programs:
- Developing and maintaining the client’s corporate image and identity, which includes the use of logos and signage;
- observing social, economic, and political trends that might ultimately affect their organization or clients, and recommending ways to enhance their image based on those trends;
- working with advertising and marketing managers to ensure that advertising campaigns are compatible with the image the company or client is trying to portray;
- assisting top executives in drafting speeches, arranging interviews, and maintaining other forms of public contact, if necessary;
- presenting campaign ideas, deadlines, and costs to clients, as well as presenting creative work to for approval or modification;
- developing executive abstracts and presentations for key conferences and events;
- directing and overseeing the company’s social media strategy;
- overseeing internal communications, such as company newsletters; and
- overseeing the maintenance of the company’s internet or intranet webpages.
- Handling and supervising all PR aspects in a potential crisis situation.
- Managing the public perception of their clients, speaking on their behalf if necessary, and clarifying their positions on certain critical issues; managing bad press, if any.
- Developing promotional material.
- Maintaining media relations on behalf of businesses, governments, and other organizations or individuals:
- Reviewing or writing, if necessary, press releases, as well as preparing media kits;
- helping clarify their organization’s point of view to its main audience through media releases and interviews;
- writing concise stories for press outreach in a variety of formats;
- cultivating relationships and liaising with influential contacts in the press and broadcast media;
- responding to reactive media inquiries, aligning opportunities with appropriate spokespeople;
- developing media campaigns and strategies; and
- working directly with clients to pitch and place necessary media coverage.
- Planning and publicizing activities and events to garner public awareness and free press coverage:
- Undertaking the planning and execution of grand openings, charitable events, press launches, compiling reports, and presenting new products to the press, if any; and
- directing special events such as sponsorship of races, parties introducing new products, or other activities the company supports in order to gain public attention through the media without directly advertising.
- Hiring and managing freelance copywriters, graphic designers, and other staff members:
- Assigning, supervising, and reviewing the activities of PR and communications staff.
- Managing the PR department budget:
- Implementing PR activity in line with the agreed budget.
- Keeping up-to-date with all issues that affect the company or organization, as well as the latest industry developments:
- Avoiding or responding to negative media coverage.
- Ensuring compliance with the company’s bylaws, regulations, policies, and procedures.
- Deciding which press releases go out to the media.
- Selecting the correct and appropriate spokespeople for the different media inquiries.
- Creating new and original ways for clients to communicate effectively with the public.
- Creating, improving, developing, and assisting a client with their corporate image or identity.
- Coming up with and applying improved communication and promotional programs.
- Overseeing the activities of different staff members.
The average PR Manager salary is $59,475 per year or $31 per hour. This is around 1.8 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $42,000 while most experienced workers make up to $83,000. These results are based on 1 salary extracted from job descriptions.
- Outstanding creativity and a positive go-to attitude.
- Full understanding of media needs and media relationships:
- Having a tactical understanding of all primary social media platforms.
- Interpersonal, communication skills, and public speaking skills:
- Communicating clearly, both verbally and in writing, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with clients, organizations, companies, journalists, representatives, lawyers, and staff members;
- being friendly enough to build a rapport and receive cooperation from their media contacts;
- being able to deal with a diverse group of people in potentially adversarial situations using a calm, polite, tactful, discreet, and effective approach;
- working cohesively as part of an interdisciplinary team;
- being able to write press releases and make presentations; and
- being confident while addressing the public in a clear enough manner that will get the message across.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Having strong multitasking skills; being able to work in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;
- being organized enough to run several events at the same time.
- Analytical, problem-solving, and decision-making skills:
- Identifying issues and resolving problems in a timely manner exercising good judgment and critical thinking;
- being a clear thinker, especially when dealing with the media; and
- using good judgment in what they report and how they report it.
- Trustworthy enough to manage sensitive/confidential information.
- Proactive, reliable, responsible, and accurate with excellent attention to detail.
For PR management positions, a bachelor's degree in Public Relations, Communications, English, Marketing, or Journalism is usually required. Nonetheless, a large number of employers require a master’s degree in related fields. Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, and creative and technical writing can be very helpful for any candidate applying for this position. Furthermore, PR Managers must have several years of experience in a related or entry-level position, such as PR Specialist or PR Coordinator. Lower level management positions may require only 2 to 3 years of experience, whereas Directors are more likely to need 5 to 10 years of related work experience.
PR Managers can also specialize in specific industries related to the area (e.g. Technology, Healthcare, or Finance), or they may manage specific areas (e.g. mergers and acquisitions, crisis management, or executive communication).
PR Managers must be able to work well with many types of PR specialists to report the facts accurately. The information they write may have legal consequences; therefore, they must work alongside the company or client’s lawyers to be sure the information they release is both legally accurate and clear to the public.
PR Managers usually work in offices during regular business hours, although most of them work more than 40 hours a week since they are usually required to travel to deliver speeches and attend meetings or events. PR Managers work in high-stress environments, often managing and organizing several events at the same time.