Public Relations Careers

Read on to learn about typical courses, resources, and careers in this field.

Staff Writer

2022-09-0825 min read

Public relations professionals mediate between organizations and the public. These professionals help businesses, governments, individuals, brands, and nonprofits project a positive public image of themselves.

If you're interested in a career in public relations, keep reading for details on job opportunities, career prospects, academic qualifications, salaries, and more.

Why Choose Public Relations?

Public relations careers appeal to ambitious people who appreciate variety and love helping people and organizations showcase their greatest traits. Successful PR professionals are open-minded, friendly, and detail-oriented, and they thrive in high-pressure circumstances.

Public relations experts help shape events and information into compelling tales that humanize their clients. So they must be persuasive and have both verbal and written communication.

How to Start your Public Relations Journey

If you want to get started in public relations, you'll need a degree. It could be an associate's or a bachelor's degree. However, you may need more advanced degrees to climb higher in your chosen career.

Education Requirements

Associate Degree

With an associate degree in public relations, graduates can seek entry-level positions in various industries, including advertising and marketing. For example, graduates interested in strategic or legal communications can work as paralegals, while those interested in marketing or advertising can work as advertising sales agents.

Bachelor's Degree

A bachelor's degree is the number one requirement for most entry-level public relations jobs. This is because bachelor's degrees give budding professionals the basic skills to succeed in public relations. For example, you can land market researcher, PR specialist, and copywriter jobs with a bachelor's degree.

Master's Degree

A master's degree is perfect for anyone looking to specialize. For example, with a master's degree, you can apply for more managerial roles in advertising, public relations, and marketing.

Doctorate in Public Relations

Graduates with a doctorate in public relations are qualified for the highest positions in the industry, including academic roles. Ph.D. candidates undergo a curriculum that offers advanced public relations skills and an understanding of a specialty.

Many academic positions, especially tenure-track, require a doctorate, while administrative posts in colleges and universities prefer doctorates.

Employment Prospects

There are various job prospects for PR specialists across a range of businesses. They work for agencies, firms, or themselves. Public relations professionals can command higher salaries and positions in densely populated cities with innovative industries than in rural ones.

Public Relations Career Forecast

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a significant need for PR experts from 2021 to 2031. The BLS project an 8% rise in demand for public relations specialists. PR professionals usually make more than the average wage as they gain more experience.

Lucrative Public Relations Career Paths

Public Relations Specialist

PR specialists build and maintain a positive public image for their organization or client. They prepare media releases, organize and direct PR programs, and raise funds.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a public relations specialist is $62,800. The salary ranges from $37,020 to $124,620.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Publish press releases and gather data for the media

  • Answer media inquiries

  • Assist clients with public communication

  • Draft speeches and organize interviews for CEOs.

  • Use social media to gauge public sentiment about clients.

  • Evaluate advertising and marketing initiatives for compatibility with PR efforts.

  • Maintain their organization's identity

Industries Employing Public Relations Specialists

The industries actively hiring public relations specialists include:

  • Educational services

  • Advertising, public relations, and related services

  • Government

  • Business, professional, labor, political, and similar organizations

Fundraising Managers

Fundraising managers often determine which fundraising strategies are required in a situation.

Common methods include capital campaigns, annual campaigns, planned giving, and significant gift solicitation. In addition, social media allows fundraisers to interact with potential donations and share their messages.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a fundraising manager is $100,810. However, the salary ranged from $60,400 to $204,300.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Create and implement fundraising plans

  • Find and make contact with possible donors.

  • Create and organize a variety of fundraising events.

  • Meet with donors in person

  • Apply for funding

  • Manage the organization's progress toward accomplishing its fundraising objectives.

  • Assign, monitor, and evaluate the staff's activities

Industries Employing Fundraising Managers

The industries actively hiring fundraising managers include:

  • Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations

  • Educational services; state, local, and private

  • Social assistance

  • Hospitals; state, local, and private

  • Arts, entertainment, and recreation

Digital Marketers

A digital marketer uses digital channels such as social media, email marketing, company websites, etc., to increase sales and brand recognition.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a digital marketer is $48,887. The salary ranges from $34,000 to $70,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Plans and executes web, SEO/SEM, database, email, social media, and show advertising.

  • Builds and manages social media.

  • Determines short-term and long-term marketing issues to address.

  • Measures all digital marketing projects' effectiveness and goals (ROI and KPIs).

  • Develops innovative, cutting-edge digital marketing strategies for growth.

  • Executes and measures conversion experiments.

  • Co-creates landing pages and improves user experience with internal teams.

  • Strong analytical skills to evaluate end-to-end customer experience across channels and touchpoints.

Industries Employing Digital Marketers

The industries actively hiring digital marketers include:

  • Health

  • Law

  • Marketing

  • Retail

  • Automobile

  • Entertainment

  • Education and training


Publicists create and manage publicity campaigns for corporations, brands, and items like music, films, and books.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a publicist is $51,779. The salary ranges from $36,000 to $72,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Implementing PR campaigns.

  • Creating social media and blog postings with the content team.

  • Creating insightful press kits

  • Good media relations.

  • Arranging advertising events.

  • Representing the firm at interviews and news conferences.

  • Adjusting the company's public relations strategy as needed.

Industries Employing Publicist

The industries actively hiring publicists include:

  • Healthcare

  • Food and beverage

  • Ecommerce

  • Automobile

  • Education

Media Coordinator

Media coordinators create targeted messaging and advertising for many media platforms. In addition, they develop and execute media and advertising initiatives and research, write, proofread, and edit material.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a media coordinator is $41,344. The salary ranges from $34,000 to $54,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Finding press opportunities as issues change.

  • Creating broadcast, print, and web content.

  • Negotiating competitive media deals.

  • Ensuring essential messaging match business strategies.

  • Acting as the point of contact for the organization's press efforts.

  • Organizing press briefings.

  • Monitoring the media marketplace for new trends.

Industries Employing Media Coordinators

The industries actively hiring media coordinators include:

  • Retail

  • Education

  • Media and entertainment

  • Healthcare


Editors organize, arrange, and edit content for books, newspapers, magazines, and websites. First, they choose which article ideas will appeal to readers. Then, during the review process, editors recommend titles and headlines. In smaller businesses, one editor may conduct all the editing or share it with a few others.

Average Salary

The average annual salary for editors is $63,350. The salary ranges from $36,970 to $129,420

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Read materials and adjust spelling, punctuation, and grammar

  • Rewrite messaging to improve readability.

  • Check published facts

  • Decide what to publish based on written submissions.

  • Help writers' ideas and tales succeed.

  • Develop story ideas based on the publication's style and editorial policy.

  • Accept the staff's final submissions

Industries Employing Editors

Editors usually find work in the following areas:

  • Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers

  • Self-employed workers

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services

  • Other information services

  • Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations

Chief Communications Officer

The highest-ranking communications specialists in an organization are called chief communications officers (CCOs). They manage internal and external communications, including PR, marketing, and social media.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a chief communications officer is $131,152. The salary ranges from $78,000 to $227,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Setting departmental goals and objectives and devising a plan to achieve them.

  • Creating budgets and managing departmental spending

  • Managing the brand's advertising, PR, social media, etc.

  • Develop a company's image by releasing annual reports, brochures, and newsletters.

Industries Employing Chief Communications Officer

The industries actively hiring chief communications officers include:

  • Media and entertainment

  • Advertising and newspaper agencies

  • Healthcare

Brand Specialist

Brand specialists maintain a company's brand. They launch and promote items and raise brand awareness. They collaborate with a marketing team to align branding with company goals.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a brand specialist is $55,159. The salary ranges from $39,000 to $80,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Conducting market research to discover industry trends and establishing marketing plans based on them

  • Developing marketing plans to promote brand recognition and products

  • Analyzing data and acquiring customer preferences, demands, and buying patterns

  • Creating and managing marketing programs to promote companies and products through advertising, PR, and other means.

  • Recommending product adjustments based on market developments and user response

  • Promoting new items or services to existing clients using sales teams

  • Creating ads for trade periodicals and social media

Industries Employing Brand Specialists

The industries actively hiring brand specialists include:

  • Ecommerce

  • Retail

  • Food and beverage

  • Automobile

  • Telecommunications


Broadcasters are on-air workers who typically work in broadcast media---radio, television, or other broadcasting channels. They also work in other spaces in print media or internet media, as voiceover professionals, program hosts and more.

Average Salary

The average salary of a broadcaster is $45,781. The salary ranges from $25,000 to $97,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Research program subjects and background info.

  • Introduce and host programs with production and technical teams.

  • Play music while conducting studio, telephone, or on-location interviews with guests.

  • Read traffic, sport, or weather reports.

Industries Employing Broadcaster

Broadcasters are largely employed in television and radio.

Media Planner

A media planner builds successful marketing plans for businesses and ad agencies. These highly-analytical professionals present campaign concepts, analyze performance and supervise finances.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a media planner is $51,874. The salary ranges from $40,000 to $67,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Examining market facts through research.

  • Oversee campaign budgets and negotiate costs for advertising room and social media initiatives.

  • Watching over the execution of media efforts.

  • Analyzing target audiences' behavior, traits, and routines.

  • Choosing the optimum campaign media mix.

  • Creating client campaign proposals.

  • Monitoring magazine, blog, and TV trends.

  • Evaluating the effectiveness of media marketing strategies and initiatives.

Industries Employing Media Planners

The industries actively hiring media planners include:

  • Comms and media agency

  • Advertising agencies

Program Coordinator

The program coordinator administers projects by keeping budgets, ensuring employees follow deadlines, and building connections with all project participants.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a program coordinator is $41,702. The salary ranges from $31,000 to $58,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Secure funds for a project

  • Handle the project's financial resources.

  • Develop a good working connection with outside suppliers and service providers.

  • Maintain your websites and social media channels by regularly updating them.

  • Get in touch with various media organizations.

Industries Employing Program Coordinator

The industries actively hiring program coordinators include:

  • Public administration and safety

  • Professional, scientific and technical services

  • Health care and social assistance

Public Relations Manager

Public relations managers clarify their organization's viewpoint through media releases and interviews. In addition, they study social, economic, and political issues that could affect their company and offer strategies to improve its image.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a public relations manager is $125,780. The salary ranges from $66,000 to $208,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Develop their organization's or client's corporate identity

  • Determine how to contact audiences.

  • Designate a media spokesman or source.

  • Assist clients with public communication

  • Create press releases and media materials.

  • Assist executives and spokespeople with information

  • Create marketing plans

  • Assign, supervise, and evaluate staff

Industries Employing Public Relations Managers

The industries actively hiring public relations managers include:

  • Professional, scientific, and technical services

  • Religious, grantmaking, civic, professional, and similar organizations

  • Educational services; state, local, and private

  • Management of companies and enterprises

  • Government

Social Media Specialists

Social media specialists develop new content for a company's platforms. They collaborate with the digital marketing team and report to the social media manager to design a social media marketing strategy to boost customer interaction and brand visibility.

Average Salary

The average salary of a social media specialist is $47,031. The salary ranges from $35,000 to $46,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Creating brand-consistent social media content plans.

  • Writing and editing social media postings, enhancing customer involvement, and promoting social media campaigns.

  • Posting frequently on social media.

  • Responding quickly to social media questions.

  • Managing social influencer initiatives and attending events.

Industries Employing Social Media Specialists

The industries actively hiring social media specialists include:

  • Art and entertainment industries.

  • IT companies.

  • Finance and insurance companies.

  • Retail industries.

Relationship Managers

A Relationship Manager helps build and maintain strong internal and external customer relationships. They find new business prospects for clients and recommend products and services.

Average Salary

The average annual salary of a relationship manager is $67,138. The salary ranges from $45,000 to $118,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Maintaining product and service knowledge.

  • Maintaining excellent client ties.

  • Finding new business opportunities.

  • Identifying client needs and offering solutions.

  • Providing clients with detailed product/service discussions and helping their decision-making.

  • Upselling and cross-selling to clients.

  • Effectively resolving complaints and difficulties.

Industries Employing Relationship Managers

The industries actively hiring relationship managers include:

  • Banking and Finance

  • IT industry

  • Technology

  • Manufacturing

  • Healthcare

Advertising Managers

Advertising managers engage potential buyers. They do this for a department, company, or project. Advertising managers work at ad agencies, media firms, and organizations that heavily market.

Average Salary

The average annual salary for advertising managers is $127,150. The salary ranges from $61,250 to $208,000.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Discuss budgets, contracts, marketing plans, and advertising media with department heads or staff.

  • Plan advertising initiatives, such as radio, TV, print, online, and billboards.

  • Advertisement contracts

  • Evaluate the design and feel of campaign or layout websites.

  • Conduct market research and analyze its results to identify business prospects.

  • Develop price strategy for target clientele

  • Provide marketing suggestions to clients.

  • Hire and supervise advertising, promotion, and marketing employees

Industries Employing Advertising Managers

The industries actively hiring advertising managers include:

  • Advertising, public relations, and related services

  • Information

  • Management of companies and enterprises

  • Wholesale trade

How to Boost your Public Relations Career

Professionals in public relations can advance their careers by working and gaining experience in the industry. You can, however, take additional steps to raise your chances of success.

One example is joining professional organizations for networking opportunities; another is getting certifications to boost your resume.

Pros and Cons of Public Relations Careers

There are benefits and drawbacks to joining the public relations industry. Here are a few


  • It's easy to curate a network of public relations professionals that'll shape your career journey.

  • Public relation is an exciting field where you work with different people and on different projects.

  • Public relations majors have many employment choices. Public relations are essential in every field.


  • Public relations is highly competitive, and you'll need different skills to stand out.

  • The time constraints on public relations projects make it a stressful field to be in

  • Public relations professionals are stereotyped negatively. Some say they're failed journalists or desperate.

Skills You'll Develop While Studying Public Relations

As your public relations career grows, you'll pick up a few skills along the way, including the following.

Communication skills

Captivating content, audience interaction, and innovative PR strategies start with superb communication skills. Gaining proficiency in talking to others will help you work better and share your thoughts with them.

Time management skills

Public relations campaigns have stringent time limits. Therefore, launching and maintaining a campaign requires strong time management. Time management helps you stay organized, achieve goals, and maintain job quality.

Social media skills

Social media is a big part of PR. You must know how your viewers behave on social media, what drives them, and what they like. You must also stay up with social media developments to help your customer or organization.

Research Skills

PR work often involves research. You must know your clients well and fascinate your audience. Thorough research can help you choose the best campaign approach and uncover client-beneficial facts.


PR campaigns require imaginative thinking. Each PR circumstance is unique, so you must use different approaches and techniques.

How to Prepare for a Public Relations Career

1. Get a degree

Most public relations managers have a bachelor's degree in media writing, journalism, marketing, communications, or a related subject. However, enrolling in an appropriate four-year university program can be quite helpful if you want to advance your career as a public relations manager.

2. Look for opportunities to gain experience

Internships are frequently used as a means by which agencies find and choose candidates for full-time employment. Internships give you in-depth business knowledge, which is why employees favor those with internship training. In addition, volunteer positions at local businesses and start-ups may provide you with invaluable hands-on experience that you can't get anywhere else.

3. Network

Building solid connections with other PR professionals is essential for success in this field. Join forums, community events, and social gatherings for PR, comms, and marketing and communication specialists to network. These events can lead to future job opportunities.

4. Add a certification

Public relations professionals aren't required to have specific qualifications, but some who aspire to the position seek to become certified to set themselves apart from the pack and increase their marketability.

Public Relations Resources to Help Your Career

Open courseware is a great resource for improving your knowledge, while professional organizations are perfect for networking, making connections, and finding jobs.

Some useful professional organizations include:

How to Switch to a Public Relations Career

You can transfer into public relations without a specialist degree if you have a degree and experience in corporate management, marketing, communications, and administration.

You can pursue further qualifications and professional degrees or return to school to get an advanced degree. If you don't have a bachelor's degree or got one in a different topic, then getting a public relations degree can help ease your switch to a public relations career.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Public Relations?

Public relations is a purposeful communication technique that establishes mutually beneficial partnerships. Public relations experts manage an organization's reputation and image. They assist organizations in communicating with the public and building favorable relationships.

What certification do I need for a Public Relations career?

Two public relations certifications that can help with your career include;

  • Communication Management Professional and

  • Strategic Communication Management Professional

You can get both certifications from the Global Communication Certification Council.

Can I get a Public Relations degree online?

Yes, you can. Several schools offer online public relations degrees. Examples are Texas State University, Washington State University, and the University of North Dakota.

What fields can Public Relations professionals work in?

Public relations professionals can work in media, social, crisis, and online communication. They also work as event organizers, in marketing agencies, and in various other industries,

Is there a high demand for Public Relations majors?

Yes, there is. From 2021 to 2031, the BLS predicts an increased need for PR specialists. The BLS predicts an 8% demand rise for PR specialists.

Final Thoughts

Public relations can be a mystery to coworkers. Educating your coworkers on the ins and outs of the industry and the fact that scheduling always varies when establishing connections and placing stories is a challenge but one that is well worth undertaking. Although tough, a career in PR can be rewarding. If you're considering a PR degree but aren't sure, chat with a PR pro. This can assist you in selecting what PR path to take after graduation.

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