A PR (Public Relations) Specialist is someone responsible for communicating with the public on behalf of a company, individual, government, organization, and a politician. They usually communicate theirs or their employer’s or client’s message to the public by the means of media. They write material for press releases, direct public relations programs and also raise funds.
In a government set up, PR specialists are called press secretaries and their task is to inform the public about the activities of agencies and government officials. They interact and have cordial relations with media as the media prints or broadcasts their press releases. Apart from the media, releases are also done through social media and the web.
PR specialists also sponsor corporate events at times to maintain the image of their client. They also recommend/give suggestions on how to improve the company’s image. In some companies. PR specialists are also responsible for supervising staff. They also team up with the marketing and advertising department to ensure that advertising campaigns are being handled as per the requirements of the company or the client. In addition to it, they handle internal communications as well. They draft speeches and also conduct interviews.
PR specialists are involved in the following
Writing press releases and other information for the media
Responding to the client’s requests for information from the media
Helping clients communicate with the public
Drafting speeches and arranging interviews
Carrying out fundraising activities for an organization
Eligibility to become PR Specialist
To become a PR specialist, one has to appear for an entrance test conducted by the various institutes for diploma as well as PG diploma courses in PR. Duration of these courses is one year and there are also a few short-term courses that one can enroll in. One can choose to work directly after pursuing these courses or enroll for an MA and then work.
Fees to Become a PR Specialist
The average annual fee of pursuing a course in public relations is in a range of Rs.30, 000-Rs.8, 00,000.
Types of Job Roles PR Specialist
There are various job profiles in the PR sector. Some of them are
Digital Media Specialist-Digital media specialists are involved in creating and managing digital-related projects for the organization. They maintain and handle web-related media and also update existing resources.
Advertising, Promotions and Marketing Managers-Advertising and marketing managers plan programs and work with sales agents and art directors. They work with the department heads or staff to discuss budgets, marketing plans, and advertising media.
Publicist-Publicists are in charge of coming up with publicity campaigns and finding the best ways for clients to promote their brands to the consumers and the media. A lot of publicists also work with celebrities to promote their brands.
Copywriter-Copywriters write publicity and marketing materials on behalf of their clients. The material can be in the form of press releases and blog posts.
Employment Opportunities for PR Specialists
Business and political organisations
Advertising, PR and other related services
Top Recruiting Companies for PR Specialists
Some of the top recruiting companies for PR specialists are as follows
Genesis Burson Marsteller
APCO Worldwide India
Planning to choose PR Specialist as your career?
Pay Scale/Salary of PR Specialist
The average pay for a PR specialist when he/she starts out is approximately Rs. 4,13,547 and the salary for a mid-career PR specialist is approximately Rs.7,45,812.
Books & Study Material to Become PR Specialist
Some of the popular books for PR specialists are as follows
The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, New Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly by David Meerman Scott
The PR Masterclass: How to Develop a Public Relations Strategy that Works! By Alex Singleton
Above the Noise: Creating Trust, Value & Reputation Online Using Basic Digital PR by Carrie Morgan
Everybody Writes: Your Go to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content, by Ann Handley
How Come No One Knows About Us: The Ultimate Public Relations Guide by Robert Deigh
Anything by David Meerman Scott
Pros of becoming a PR Specialist
A PR specialist has the ability to improve a business’s image or reputation especially in the event of a controversy or something. This is something very important and a PR specialist has that kind of power.
It is a career that pays very well.
It is all about building good relations with media and working with them for a client. All the hard work that they put into it can translate to sales and the results of that for the client and the PR specialist both is a great thing.
One gets to write, be creative and work with people from different backgrounds, clients, journalists, consumers etc. The task of a PR specialist is to act as a storyteller to make people understand something new or give some pertinent information.
There are a lot of fun events/parties/seminars that a PR specialist gets to be a part of. They get to meet new people and the job also includes travel.
PR specialists get to work with entrepreneurs, doctors, and other such people and have the ability to make a difference in someone’s life. People who are doing good work can be featured on TV, radio and other media, and the PR specialists are the ones who play an active role in this.
Cons of becoming a PR Specialist
PR specialists are always working in some capacity or the other even on their day offs. They can’t really shut off.
A lot of companies don’t fully understand PR and the challenges one has to face.
A PR specialist attends too many events and that means a lot of late nights, long hours and a lot of work load. This also means that one ought to have thick skin as clients tend to rely on the PR specialists for direction.
It is a very competitive field full of ambitious people and you should have the ability to stand out.