Employment for Public Relations Specialists is projected to increase faster than average, but there may be strong competition for entry-level jobs.
Public Relations Specialists are also known as Press Secretaries, Information Officers, Public Affairs Specialists, Communications Specialists, and Media Relations Specialists.
College graduates with both a degree in public relations or communications field AND related work experience will have the best chance of landing a job.
Median annual earnings for salaried public relations specialists were $39,580 in 2000.
Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of public relations specialists in 2000 were:
Management/public relations $43,690
Local government 40,760
State government 39,560
Colleges and universities 35,080
Public relations specialists may serve as advocates and build and maintain positive relationships with the public; inform the general public, interest groups, and stockholders of an organization's policies, activities, and accomplishments; keep management aware of public attitudes and concerns; prepare press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material; set up speaking engagements and often prepare speeches; represent employers at public functions; and prepare annual reports and write proposals.
Entry-Level public relations professionals may maintain files of material about company activities; scan newspapers and magazines for articles to clip; assemble information for speeches and pamphlets; answer calls from the press and public; work on invitation lists and details for press conferences; and escort visitors and clients.
Some Public Relations Specialists work standard 35-40 hour week. Typically overtime is unpaid. Employee may need to be on call, work irregular schedules, travel, and be able to change schedule on short notice.
Public relations specialists held about 137,000 jobs in 2000. Public relations specialists are concentrated in large cities, where press services and other communications facilities are readily available and many businesses and trade associations have their headquarters. Many public relations consulting firms, for example, are in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Washington, DC.
Information for this Career Overview was summarized from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook.