Should I Consider a Public Relations (PR) Career?
Mar 27, 2015 | 11:00 am
If you’ve earned a degree in journalism or communications, you might consider applying your degree toward a career in public relations. Public relations involve the ability to write clearly and concisely, delivering accurate information on the organization, business or public figure you are representing. Public relations specialists prepare press releases for potential publishers. These announcements might explain a new development, an accomplishment, or the purpose of an event. A good writer produces these press releases to engage public interest and support. These releases may lead to press engagements, interviews or a review. The public relations representative handles these requests, building a cooperative platform in communications between representatives of the community, consumers, employees, public interest groups, and those who print and broadcast journalism.
Duties of the PR Person
Along with setting up conferences with the media, the public relations representative may be involved in the speech making process, preparing speeches for organizational directors or other public entities. The speech may be centered on employee policies, or its role in the community. The speech could also be a public appeal, as for charitable institutions or support for a particular project. It could be informative, as in health care concerns or environmental impact reports.
Government officials or those planning to run for a government office will also hire a public relations representative to prepare speeches and handle media publicity. Those who work within government offices are often called press secretaries, public relations specialists, information officers or communications specialists. They keep the public informed on the activities of the official and their short term or long term plans. A public relations representative working for the Department of Wildlife Conservation may prepare a speech on the condition of wildlife species, or new policies for the protection of a wildlife ecosystem.
If you enjoy advertising, you might also consider a career as a public relations representative. One of your duties may entail the use of film, slides and other visual preparations for use at schools, assembly meetings or for the advertising media.
A Challenging and Organized Field
Although it’s a lucrative field, it’s also a challenging one. The competition is fierce and doesn’t just depend on the completion of a degree program, but an ability to write persuasively. It is the intent of all writers to influence through speech, whether written or spoken. Creating that influence is derived from a conscious knowledge of descriptive, emotive and active tenses that capture the audience’s imagination, kindling a desire to learn information. Its objective is to gain support from the public.
The Public Relations Society of America accredits public relations specialists who have had at least five years in the field and taken the comprehensive exam. The examination is a five hour written test and one hour in oral communications. There is also an accredited program provided by the International Association of Business Communications. It also involves a five hour written test, five years experience in the field and an oral examination. Candidates must also submit a portfolio of work samples that demonstrate their involvement in communications projects and a thorough understanding of communication planning.
If you have a good hand for journalism, excellent communications skills, and enjoy working with the public, you may enjoy working as a public relations representative. It takes creativity, an awareness of public opinion, and an ability to be both informative and persuasive. It takes commitment to the qualities of the written word and dedication to the organization, business, or public entity you are representing. It can be exciting. It can establish you as a journalist or eloquent speechwriter. If you love to write and your aptitude has been demonstrated in your composition, you might wish to consider a career as a public relations representative.