The first image that comes to mind when mentioning Public Relations is most likely to be an executive going to fancy business lunches, attending press conferences, and appearing on celebrity gossip TV shows. However, there’s definitely more to the PR field than socializing with celebrities. The general objective of this area is to develop and enhance the public’s interest in a brand, organization, person, or product by providing information through different media outlets.
Careers in PR are genuinely fast-paced and exciting. 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 PR industry is not completely dependent on people’s creativity. Even though creativity is important, the industry wouldn’t be able to go forward without essential research, planning, and strategy. Professionals who work in PR are highly organized, energetic, and have excellent communication skills.
Professionals in the Public Relations industry are usually responsible for the following:
- Drafting press releases and preparing information for the media.
- Responding to information requests from the media.
- Helping clients communicate effectively with the public.
- Being the liaison between the company and the client.
- Drafting speeches and arranging interviews.
- Devising and implementing communication and promotion programs.
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.
- Having a full understanding of media needs and relationships.
- 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.
- Being proactive, reliable, responsible, and accurate with excellent attention to detail.
For people or companies in the public eye, reputation is everything. PR companies exist and PR Managers are hired to maintain, develop, and manage the public image of their clients by generating exposure and publicity for their clients. 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.