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Public Relations Specialist

Career Overview

Public relations specialists serve as spokespersons and advocates for the organizations that employ them. They are in charge of media relations, usually, and maintain ongoing relationships with relevant members of the press.  They may also pitch stories to industry press, develop relationships with community organizations and elected officials, and generally establish a presence on behalf of the business, organization or individual for whom they work.

In a corporate setting they may get involved in investor relations and with special-interest groups that have concerns about the industry or some element of the businesses' operations.  Public relations specialists respond to media inquiries and prepare business or organization leaders for interviews or stories based on a newsworthy development that involves them.


Public relations specialists often enter the field with a bachelors degree in journalism or public affairs.  Some start out with a communications degree working in political campaigns and move into the business world after a period of time.  Many public relations specialists get into the business with an advertising firm that handles public relations for its clients.  Some of these people have degrees in advertising or a media-oriented major.

Current Employment

In 2006 there were 243,000 public relations specialists employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. 

Job Outlook

The projected job growth in this field is excellent.  The Department of Labor estimates that public relations job opportunities will increase by 18% in the decade 2006 - 2016.  Competition will be high for entry level positions; one potential advantage for an applicant is fluency in a language other than English.

Salary Range

Lowest 10% $14.22/hour; $29,580/year

Median Salary $23.94/hour; $49,800/year

Highest 10% $45.49/hour; $94,620/year

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