Public Relations Managers are usually the head of a PR firm or of a company’s PR department. They are charged with all the different aspects of creating and maintaining the public image of their customer. They coordinate and organize all the teams and professionals working towards the promotion of the image their customer wants the public to perceive of them.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Public Relations Manager are required to complete.
- Assessing and developing media presence through public relations programs and campaigns:
- Creating and promoting a favorable image of their client;
- following trends and external factors that may impact on the image of their clients, or even their own company, and adapting to them;
- liaising with marketing and advertising agents in order to ensure that the image of the client adheres to the pre-established parameters;
- helping clients writing speeches, preparing for interviews, and handling publicity campaigns;
- planning new and original campaigns for clients, presenting strategies, plans, costs, alternatives, and deadlines;
- 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.
- Creating and handling the public image of their client, preparing press statements, and taking a stance with critical issues; managing bad press, if any.
- Developing promotional material.
- Handling media and the press on behalf of their client, in order to always portray a positive image:
- Reviewing or writing, if necessary, press releases, as well as preparing media kits;
- stating their customer’s point of view through press releases and interviews;
- writing concise stories for press outreach in a variety of formats;
- liaising with strategic contacts in different forms of media;
- responding to reactive media inquiries, aligning opportunities with appropriate spokespeople; and
- working directly with clients to pitch and place necessary media coverage.
- Planning and publicizing activities and events that would benefit the image, visibility, and reputation of their client, ensuring that the press covers it:
- 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 sponsored by the company in order to gain public attention through the media without directly advertising.
- Hiring and managing freelance copywriters, graphic designers, and other staff members:
- Tracking and overseeing the activities of all the members of the PR team.
- Managing their client’s or department’s budget:
- Implementing PR activities in line with the agreed budget.
- Following the activities of their client in order to adapt their image to their activities, as well as the latest industry developments:
- Preventing 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, and promoting clients’ public image.
- Coming up with and applying improved public relation strategies.
- 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;
- having an engaging personality in order to create close bonds with press and media professionals that could benefit their client;
- 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; and
- being organized enough to run several events at the same time while prioritizing tasks.
- 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.
Candidates hoping to become a PR Manager must first obtain a college or university degree in Public Relations, Marketing, Business, or Journalism, although some high-end employers require a higher degree such as a master’s. Other courses and academic achievements in related fields may also help improve a candidate’s chances of obtaining the position.
However, academic prowess is not all that it takes, PR Managers also need experience in the field before they can begin to work in a managerial position. Most professionals in this field start out their careers as PR Coordinators or Specialist. It often takes several years of hard work and dedication before they can be promoted to higher positions, although each agency or employer has their own criteria when granting promotions, so years may vary.
Many PR Agencies specialize in specific sectors or industries including manufacturers, healthcare, celebrities, and big corporations. It is common for PR Managers to choose an industry that seems appealing to their personal taste.
Public Relations is all about team work, no PR Manager can work without a team or without contacts and advisors from other areas such as the press or the legal field.
Most PR Agencies do most of their work during regular business hours. However, some specialized PR Managers may have to work extra time for demanding customers like celebrities or politicians, or in special cases or occasions such as campaigns, product launchings, or moments of crisis.