A public relations (PR) officer works to create and maintain an organisation favourable public image and protect its reputation. This is accomplished by planning and directing public relations programs, liaising with the media and explaining the organisation position during a time of crisis. A PR officer may work in a variety of employment settings including large corporations, non-profit, universities and PR agencies.
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While specific responsibilities may vary by organisation, they tend to include liaising with the media, writing press releases, responding to media inquiries, arranging interviews for organisation executives, writing speeches for staff, serving as spokesperson, identifying main client groups and the best way to communicate with them, holding events for the public and overseeing the organisation branding through logo use and print materials. PR officers may also be involved in improving internal relations between management and employees.
Qualifications for this position typically include a bachelor's degree in communications, PR, journalism or marketing and at least three years PR experience. Some employers may seek an advanced degree and a demonstrated track record of developing and implementing successful media or consumer campaigns.
In addition to education and previous experience, there are a number of personal attributes employers may seek in a candidate. These include excellent writing and speaking skills, strong communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to solve problems and remain calm.
According to SalaryList.com, as of May 2010, the average salary for a PR officer is £25,350. This may vary greatly by employment setting and years of experience.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow by 24 per cent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, competition for these positions will remain strong as it is an attractive field to many individuals.
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