Public relations – or PR – jobs are concerned primarily with building an awareness and interest in a particular company, brand, person or product. There are many different jobs within PR careers but they all contribute to that general theme. Although public relations jobs are closely related to advertising, there is a difference in that those with public relations jobs focus on gaining free media exposure rather than directly paying for it.
About PR Jobs
• Those with PR careers will become experts at managing public image and reception for clients’ companies using a wide range of methods which can include press releases, internet campaigns, traditional media, charity endorsements and so on.
• A public relations (PR) officer often works in-house and can be found in both the private and public sectors: from the utility and media sectors to voluntary and not-for-profit organisations. Some PR officers may be based in consultancies.
• One of the keys to understanding how PR jobs work, and to be really successful in PR careers, is to understand that public relations is a two-way process and relies on the relationship between audience and client. Defending or promoting target audiences is often a good way to establish a relationship. PR careers also involve researching and reporting on target audience trends and reception to products, services etc.
• Day to day activities in public relations jobs can include writing press releases, liaising with the media via email, telephone or in person, researching and reporting on media findings to clients and managers as well as devising and overseeing new PR strategies. Market research is also a huge part of public relations jobs, as is communication and event organising.
• To be successful in PR careers there are a number of key skills you need. For instance, public relations jobs require individuals that are very good at talking to all types of people, and managing relationships over long periods of time. It helps to have the confidence and drive to explore new leads, and network tirelessly. It is vital for PR jobs that the individual is highly motivated and has the ability to work under pressure to deadlines.
What qualifications are needed for PR jobs?
In terms of academic qualifications, a degree is often advantageous when finding PR jobs but depending on which public relations jobs you are applying for, good A-levels or other FE qualifications may suffice.
Most entrants tend to have a degree or HND. There are few specific PR degree courses available, and entry to the profession is generally open to all graduates. However, as PR ranks as one of the most popular career choices for graduates in the UK, the following degree/HND subjects may be particularly helpful: media studies, English and literary studies, business management, marketing.
Postgraduate qualifications in PR are available and may improve your chances of securing a position. However, it will not guarantee a job or replace the personal qualities and experience that employers are looking for. The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) offers the Foundation Award. This is a short starter qualification taught at A-level standard. It covers the essential knowledge and skills needed to get started in public relations – from understanding the role of the PR practitioner to learning the basics of writing for the press and dealing with journalists.
Pay rates for PR jobs
PR careers can be very well paid once you have earned experience. You may either work your way up in a large public relations agency, or set up on your own. Either way, acquiring and retaining clients will be key to your success and the money you earn. Entry level PR jobs will pay between £15,000 and £18,000 per year while the most senior public relations jobs can easily earn upwards of £70,000 per year.
Browse our wide selection of public relations jobs here on Simply Marketing Jobs.
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