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How to become a Public Relations Officer

public relations officer careers

What does a Public Relations Officer do?

Public relations (PR) officers are involved in promoting and maintaining good relations between an organisation and its public. They work as part of a team with other PR and related specialists. Public relations can be known as public information, investor relations, public affairs, corporate communication, marketing, media relations or customer relations depending on the organisation involved.

The duties of a public relations officer depends on whether they work in-house - in the public relations department of an organisation - or whether they work for a consultancy, providing a PR service for a wide range of clients. In either case, the work is likely to include some of the following:

  • planning public relations programmes and projects
  • advising clients on PR strategy
  • liaising with the media
  • organising and arranging news conferences, press launches, exhibitions and trade fairs
  • writing and producing leaflets, brochures, press releases, company newsletters and websites
  • producing films or videos about a company or its products
  • public speaking at presentations, news conferences and radio or TV interviews
  • setting up photographic sessions in studios or out on location
  • representing the company or client and acting as their spokesperson at conferences, exhibitions and trade fairs.

What's the working environment like working as a Public Relations Officer?

Working hours vary and can include evening and weekend work.

The work is office based but may involve travel to PR events and meetings. Certain types of event may require some time away from home.

What does it take to become a Public Relations Officer?

To be a public relations officer you should:

  • be able to write clearly and in an interesting way
  • be confident in communications - from making speeches at presentations to being interviewed on radio or TV
  • be able to understand and interpret information
  • be able to plan, organise and co-ordinate tasks
  • be able to organise and manage others and also work well in a team
  • be capable of coping with pressure and tight deadlines
  • be flexible - and able to cope with a variety of projects at the same time
  • be interested in people and able to relate well to them
  • have imagination and ingenuity.

Public Relations Officer Career Opportunities

Public relations is growing fast and entry into this career is extremely competitive, with hundreds of applicants for each job.

There are opportunities to work in all major towns and cities, and to work abroad. Employers include local authorities, the police, commercial companies, professional bodies and charities.

As an in-house public relations officer, progression to PR manager, PR director and to Head of Communications is possible.

PR officers working in a consultancy can progress from junior account executive to account executive, then to senior account executive/account manager, reaching the position of associate or account director by their early to mid-thirties.

Movement from one organisation to another to gain promotion is usual and some public relations people move into related areas such as advertising or marketing. There are some opportunities for freelance work.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Public Relations Officer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
The Old Trading House
15 Northburgh Street
Tel: 020 7253 5151

CAM Foundation Ltd
Moor Hall
Tel: 01628 427120

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