Public relations specialists serve as advocates for businesses, nonprofit associations, universities, etc., while building and maintaining positive relationships with the public. They are responsible for drafting press releases as well maintaining contact with individuals in both print and broadcast who will disseminate their information. PR reps must generate positive publicity for their clients.
PR representatives must be good at communicating through print, in person and by phone. They must keep up with current events and be well versed in pop culture to keep a grasp on what will create public interest.
prepare press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material;
arrange and conduct programs to keep up contact between organization representatives and the public;
represent employers at community projects;
make film, slide or other visual presentations at meetings and school assemblies;
prepare annual reports and write proposals for various projects;
keep the public informed about the activities of government agencies and officials
What you can do to prepare: Membership in student organizations such as PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America, is a good way to begin networking as well as to learn more information about the field. Finding a mentor who can aid you in your experience is also helpful. Internships are always beneficial.
Education and Training: A college degree in public relations, journalism, advertising or news editorial is not required.
What you can do to prepare:
Again, I thought it would be helpful to see an example of at least one want ad for a PR representative position currently circulating the Web to give you an idea of exact requirements and job descriptions. This job opening was posted two weeks ago on careerbuilder.com in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
Looking for freelance work in a fast paced environment? EDMC (Education Management Corporation) is searching for a Public Relations Specialist – Interactive.
The Interactive Public Relations Specialist is responsible for creating and maintaining new media–based public relations deliverables and content in support in promoting all EDMC school systems. The incumbent will work closely with other Public Relations staff members to augment promotional/student competition/media relations opportunities and to develop and maintain online Newsrooms for each school system (The Art Institutes, Argosy University, Brown Mackie College, South University). In addition, this position manages internal online databases to ensure proper archiving of all Public Relations content produced.
This position will work in close counsel with other EDMC departments (Advertising, BPC, Web Team) and to ensure quality assurance with the goals of enhancing image, maximizing school performance, and increasing prospective student and media interest in the schools.
Key Job Elements
1. Create engaging new media content for school system Newsrooms, including promotional videos, photo galleries, success stories, and other public relations deliverables.
2. Edit, post and maintain promotional material to key social networking Websites and work to identify new external Web opportunities that target student demographics, prospective employers of EDMC graduates, and alumni. Recommend new online PR tactics as needed.
3. Ensure regular update of EDMC Public Relations Intranet site and internal Public Relations shared drive (as department’s daily archive/ library system), including uploading of media placements, training material, press kits, competition guidelines, and strategic plans.
4. Focus on maintaining content on school system Newsrooms by regularly posting press releases, graduate success stories, faculty experts databases, press kits, and leadership bios, with an eye toward developing new Newsroom divisions.
5. Work with Advertising on generating Newsroom visitor/view reports on key Public Relations websites.
6. Assists VP of PR and AVP of PR in support of corporate communication initiatives.
1. 3-6 years as a practicing PR professional
2. Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English, Communications or Public Relations.
3. Solid knowledge of and experience with new online public relations tools, social networking Websites, blogs, and the online tools used to measure visibility of content.
4. Ability to use a broad spectrum of resources including, but not limited to print, Web/intranet, email, videoconferencing; “Web 2.0″ online resources such as wikis, social networking website; blogs, search engines, free online press release distribution services; del.icio.us, Technorati; and e-pitching technologies like MMNR’s, PR Trak, ProfNet, Bacon’s Media Resource, PR Newswire, Multi-Vu, ARA Content, E-Watch, Omniture, and MediaATLAS, to name a few.
5. Computer literate, marketing-minded, strategic yet creative thinker, self-starter, able to manage multiple projects simultaneously
6. Credible list of professional affiliations and/or certifications (i.e. PRSA, IABC, or APR).
For a story about shadowing someone with this job, click here.