Public relations officer
PR officer, PR executive, communications officer, press officer
Public relations (PR) officers manage an organisation’s public image and reputation.
Salary range: £18,000 to £90,000
How to become a public relations officer
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- a college course
- specialist courses run by a professional body
You could study for a degree or postgraduate award recognised by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
- public relations
- media communications
- business and public relations
You’ll usually need:
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
There is no set entry route to become a public relations officer but it may be useful to do a relevant subject like a Foundation Certificate in Marketing.
You can also study higher level qualifications if you’re working in a marketing or communications department.
Entry requirements for these courses vary.
You can work towards this role by doing a public relations assistant higher apprenticeship.
You’ll usually need:
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
Volunteering and experience
You’ll find it useful to get paid or unpaid experience of working in public relations. You can do this by:
- contacting PR departments and consultancies for work experience
- volunteering to promote local charities
- writing for student magazines, newspapers, blogs or social media
- working on student or volunteer radio services
You can do professional qualifications through the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.
These can be done online or at a training centre. Courses include:
- a Foundation Certificate for beginners
- a Professional PR Certificate, if you’re a graduate or have 2 years’ experience in PR
Professional and industry bodies
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of media production and communication
- knowledge of English language
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- persistence and determination
- the ability to work well with others
- the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
- the ability to use your initiative
- the ability to sell products and services
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks could include:
- planning PR campaigns and strategies based on research
- monitoring and reacting to the public and media’s opinion of your client or employer
- writing and editing press releases, speeches, newsletters, leaflets, brochures and websites
- creating content on social media and responding quickly to user comments
- arranging and attending events like press launches, news conferences, exhibitions and open days
- developing good working relationships with the media to promote your clients
- arranging photoshoots and production of promotional videos
- public speaking at presentations, conferences or radio and TV interviews
You could work in an office.
Career path and progression
With in-house PR officer experience, you could be promoted to PR manager, social media manager or head of communications.
With agency experience, you could progress to senior account executive or account manager.
You could go freelance or move into advertising, marketing or journalism.
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