Public relations can be said to be the mediums through which companies or bodies create and regulate rapports with members of the public. Businesses use public relations strategies to understand their customers, partners, competitors and even suppliers. In a nutshell, public relations provide information and what a company does its culture, as well as its mission.
Furthermore, Public Relations activities can be broadly classified into two. The first is the promotion of the brand while the second has to do with protecting the brand’s image. The promotional activities of public relations deal with assisting individuals or corporate organizations to create a positive rapport with the public through the use of paid and unpaid mediums of communication. Public relations help with social media, blogs, placements, and other forms of local media to push the image of brands.
( Learn about what you need to become a Journalist here )
Public relations activities that have to do with brand protection are situations where experts have to defend their clients in cases of crises. Crises could be product compromise, negative media, fraud cases, retrenchments, and so on.
Public Relations is quite an important field because it helps brands to engage their audience and learn their behaviours through various mediums.
Besides, brands can hardly get free publicity for their products or services. Journalists will definitely charge to write intriguing stories that the audience can relate with. Hence, bringing on a public relations expert will help smoothen such processes and newer strategies can be brought on board.
Responsibilities of Public Relations Experts
A PR officer will most likely participate in daily conversations with business owners and their target audience. They need to understand all parts of a business, and would most likely speak with shareholders, the media, consumers, middlemen, and any party that is directly or indirectly involved with the company’s services or goods.
As a public relations officer, you’ll have to pitch your client’s offers and policies to the public on different occasions. You will have to speak with the press in cases where there are negative rumours about the organisation you work with.
Generally, you’ll do more of communicating on a daily basis as this is the core of the profession. But you may not necessarily have fixed routines. It may be the media today, customers, tomorrow, then stakeholders on the day after.
You also have to be aware of trends, industry demands, and other economic activities that may affect your client’s relationship with the public.
You’ll be required to work hand-in-hand with marketers and advertising firms on some projects. The responsibilities of public relations experts are enormous but so is their earnings. Amazing isn’t it?
Skills Needed in Public Relations
Since there’s a lot of activities you’ll be involved in, you need the following set of skills to thrive as a PR officer.
- Good marketing skills.
- Persuasive spirit.
- Strong communications skills
- Excellent research abilities
- Effortless creativity
- Writing skills
- Improvisation skills
- Good interpersonal relationship abilities.
Specializations in PR
There’s a lot to be done in PR, this is why many usually branch into smaller specializations and probably enrol for a Master’s degree in them. Below are some of those careers under the broader umbrella of Public Relations.
- Media Relations/ Planning
- Community Relations
- Speech Writing
- Social media management
- Event Planning
- Financial Communications
- Content Creation
- Reputation Management
- Crisis Management
Similar Career: Mass Communication.
As stated earlier, public relations experts earn a quite decent income, especially if you have years of experience and appropriate qualifications.
Here’s a brief estimate:
Graduate Trainee – $40,000 (annually)
Mid-level- $49,000 (annually)
Management – $78,000 (annually)