Careers in Public Relations

The purpose of public relations is put a business or person in the publics view and put them in the publics view in a favorable way. Public relations professionals design a public relations campaign on behalf of a client. They then implement the campaign, which usually involves writing press releases and pitching stories to the media, e.g. television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet.

Public relations is a high-speed, high-pressure occupation where you spend a lot of time contacting people by email, telephone, and in person. You may be required to travel frequently, to make guest appearances on radio or television shows, to give speeches, make presentations, or give seminars to groups.

The public relations person is often responsible for coaching company executives and personnel in how to speak to the public, reporters and other media representatives. A public relations person may also be responsible for coaching human resources personnel in how to communicate with the company's employees.

A first job in public relations may involve grunt work like answering letters or answering telephones. Or you may be fund-raising for a nonprofit organization, special interest group, or political campaign.

A good public relations person must have good communications skills and understand the principles of persuasion and the dynamics of public opinion. They must understand the media and their requirements. Writing press releases can be challenging. You have to make a press release sound so interesting that an editor will use it as the basis of a story. Besides writing press releases, a public relations person may:

design a public relations campaign
create a press kit
plan a public relations event
write a speech or seminar
write newsletters
write brochures
write training manuals
create graphic designs

The salary for experienced public relations professionals is $50,000 to $85,000 or more per year. Public relations is also lucrative for freelance writers. A 1,500 word article can pay $1,250 to $2,000 or more. A 2,500 word article can pay $2,000 to $3,000.

The second edition of The Public Relations Writer's Handbook: The Digital Age offers a simple, step-by-step approach to creating a wide range of writing, from basic news releases, pitch letters, biographies, and media alerts, to more complex and sophisticated speeches, media campaign proposals, crisis responses, and in-house publications. In addition, the thoroughly expanded and updated second edition shows how to keep up with the best practices of the public relations profession, as well as with the speed made possible and required by the digital age.

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