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Public Relations Specialist

Career Overview

Public relations managers are in charge of publicity programs for businesses; the similar position in government is called a public affairs manager.�� Sometimes these managers direct publicity programs to a targeted media niche.�� Other times, they direct publicity programs designed to get free coverage from the general media outlets.�� Public relations managers may specialize in fields where public information or education is important, such as crisis management or public health.

Public relations officers are often hired because of their "Rolodex;" that is, their personal connections with members of the relevant media.�� Good PR personnel use every communications medium available to convey a message or support a public information campaign.�� Often their skills are called upon to respond to negative publicity.


Most public relations managers enter the field with a bachelors degree in communications or journalism.�� Many experienced journalists will cross over to the "agency side" and work in a promotional role after years as a reporter.��

Current Employment

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that there were 50,000 public relations managers in 2006.�� In some business structures, however, there may be a press relations manager or communications director handling public relations chores.

Job Outlook

Projections are that the public relations field will expand at the rate of 12% over the decade 2006 to 2016.�� It is also possible, however, that the heightened rate of media scrutiny created by the legitimatization of internet news and information sources may drive an increased need for people with the skills to handle the new media.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%����$21.57����$44,870
Median Salary����$41.57����$86,470
Highest 10%����$58.41����$121,500

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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